Oxford and its colleges are preparing to welcome thousands of new students as the academic year kicks off in October.
Around 3,000 undergraduates and another 3,000 postgraduate students will start their courses at Oxford in October. In addition to Freshers Week activities held by colleges and the Oxford University Student Union, the University also offers a special welcome and orientation for new international students.
Among those starting at Oxford are ten students selected to take part in a foundation year pilot programme at Lady Margaret Hall, who were welcomed by Oxford's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, on their arrival this week. Selected from more than 90 applicants, the students will be studying Biology, Biochemistry, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, English, Law, Maths, Music and Physics. They come from London, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Oxford and Plymouth.
Launched in April 2016, the LMH Foundation Year prepares students from under-represented backgrounds for undergraduate study at Oxford. The scheme is based on the established access programme scheme that is run by Trinity College Dublin.
Alan Rusbridger, Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, said: 'The references from schools speak of young people who have sometimes overcome hardship or difficulties, and shown resilience and determination. We strongly believe – as Trinity College Dublin discovered with its own 17-year old scheme – that the multiplier effect of these young people back in their own communities will be significant.'
In the next year, through a combination of academic and personal support, the students will take core modules which focus on the development of their academic writing, critical thinking and study skills in addition to personal development and their use of digital technologies. Subject specific modules will run alongside these core modules, giving the students an opportunity to experience the satisfaction of learning in an academic environment. The college envisages the students progressing to a full undergraduate degree following the successful completion of the Foundation Year.