Access & outreach

Students at our recent STEM day

Hertford is fully committed to access. For us, this means ensuring that the very best students from every kind of background are encouraged to study at Hertford and that they are supported throughout their time at the college.

Last year our Outreach Fellow visited 30 schools as well as 15 Higher Education Fairs and multi-school events, while Hertford hosted 65 school visits to the college. Current students are actively involved in outreach, meeting prospective applicants and working to dispel the Oxbridge myths that still abound.

We intend to step up our outreach activity significantly, with the aim that our admissions figures will more accurately reflect the national ratio of students receiving maintained versus independent education. We are determined to admit the very best students who demonstrate potential and aptitude, regardless of their school, background or family income.

How much does outreach cost?

We spent over £100,000 on outreach in the academic year 2013–14, but will need to dramatically increase our funds if we are to make a significant impact on the lives of students who could thrive at Hertford.

  • Outreach trips
    The Outreach Fellow visits schools, particularly targeting our assigned areas of Essex and Kent, and the London Borough of Camden.
    The average expense of an outreach trip is £100, including transport and accommodation. A gift of £1,200 will cover 12 school visits in a year.
  • Taster Days
    Hertford offers ‘Gifted & Talented’ pupils the opportunity to visit the college for an in-house Oxford experience. This includes a specialist academic session, lunch, talks and a tour. We usually hold 35 or more Taster Days a year.
    A gift of £200 would cover Hertford’s costs in hosting a group of 15-20 students. 
  • STEM days
    Targeting students interested in studying and working in Science Technology Engineering and Maths. In 2015 Hertford held a STEM day for 70 female students.
    Travel expenses for students visiting Oxford can be as much as £120 for those visiting from more distant areas of the UK. A gift of £4,200 would allow us to cover travel expenses for up to 70 students. A gift of £700 would cover the catering costs for the STEM day. 
  • Summer School
    We are establishing a new programme of free residentials in June for talented students hoping to study at Oxford. This summer school will enable us to provide targeted support to those students whose schools have little experience of preparing applicants for the Oxford admissions process.
    A gift of £10,000 will create a start-up fund for the Summer School in 2016.


Students visiting Hertford during our bridge centenary access day

Digital opportunities

We know that the pupils we meet at outreach events and school visits are inspired by personal contact with our students and academics. But there are many more who we cannot reach personally. We want to take advantage of the opportunities offered by digital learning and social media. There are countless students around the country who would flourish at Hertford, but who are not given the support they need to apply to Oxford.

We are planning a significant investment in our online presence, which will enable us to build up digital learning opportunities for prospective students. There are certain subject areas where under-performing schools are failing potential applicants. We can’t bridge the gap entirely, but if we can show students with potential how they can direct their learning, or suggest questions for them to consider, they will stand a better chance of showing their potential at interview and flourishing as students.

Student support figures from 2014-15 


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