Top universities reach out to local talent at the Liberty Stadium

On Monday 14 March, a team of Oxford and Cambridge University students who graduated from schools in Wales will be coming home to inspire the next generation of brilliant minds to consider applying.

Around 1,500 students and teachers from across the region are expected to attend the 2016 Oxford and Cambridge Student Conference at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, as they prepare to make potentially life-changing decisions about their education and future careers.

By the end of March, admissions tutors, lecturers and current undergraduates from Oxford and Cambridge will have travelled across the UK to deliver similar conferences in six other major venues in Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, Lisburn, Edinburgh and Surrey. In total, representatives from the two Universities will meet about 10,000 students and teachers on home ground.

At each conference, staff and students will explain their University’s application and admissions procedures, offer up-to-date information about courses, provide an insight into student life, and field questions from visitors about all aspects of life and work at university.

Laurens McDonald attended Cefn Saeson Comprehensive School and then Gower College Swansea and is now in his third year of studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. He is attending the conferences as a student helper and says:

'When I started my A-Levels Oxford didn't seem like a realistic option for me. No one from the comprehensive I had attended had ever received an offer, and Oxford felt like some mysterious place which was beyond the reach of people like me. However, thanks to supportive teachers and the opportunities to attend outreach events, Oxford was made to seem far more accessible and I realised that I did stand a decent chance of getting it. I would strongly encourage anyone looking for a great university not to write off Oxford, and to take every opportunity to speak to tutors and staff and see what it had to offer. I think there are so many people out there who could make a competitive application but assume that they don't stand a chance.

‘Even up until the day I moved in to my College I was worried I wouldn't fit in, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Oxford certainly isn't a typical university but it's an incredibly friendly and welcoming place. Even when it comes to the difficult and weird, you quickly realise that everyone's in it together and there's a really strong community in each college and across the university. The three years I've spent here have definitely been the best of my life!'

Dr Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at Oxford University, says:

“Oxford and Cambridge recruit students from across the UK, and we are well aware that the potential to be an excellent student is not restricted to those from a particular location or school. Holding conferences in every nation and region of the UK is a very practical demonstration of our commitment to working with schools and teachers throughout the country to seek out academically talented students and encourage them to find out more about what’s available to them.”

Dr Sam Lucy, Director of Admissions for the Cambridge Colleges says:

“There are so many brilliant students in Wales and we’re here to meet as many of them as possible. These conferences help us to find students with great academic potential and passion for their subject, and encourage them to think about applying to Cambridge and Oxford. Meeting current students who went to school here and getting friendly advice from staff really help participants to make informed decisions and boost their confidence.”

More information about the Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences is available at

For more information contact Dr Julia Paolitto, Communications Officer, University of Oxford, 01865 280 531,