Access and outreach
Support access and outreach
Hertford has a history of openness; today we continue to support students from under-represented backgrounds.
In 1907, Hertford admitted the first African- American Rhodes scholar, Alain Leroy Locke, after he had been turned down by several other colleges. We were one of the first colleges to proactively seek out and support state school applicants to Oxford with the Tanner Scheme. We were also in the first group of five colleges to go co-educational, admitting women in 1974.
Today, access and outreach initiatives remain a core focus of the college. We have a dedicated Outreach Officer, and are one of the few colleges with an alumni-funded STEM Outreach Officer, Dr Kathryn Boast. The outreach team develop and deliver a wide range of programmes to support and encourage under-represented groups of students, especially in our link regions in the East of England.
In 2020, we were the first Oxford college to host a Government and Politics Careers Day for current students from disadvantaged backgrounds studying at Oxford, Reading, Oxford Brookes and Sheffield universities. Our aim is to ensure that no one is put off from applying to Oxford because of their income or background.
Oxford’s biggest outreach initiative is the UNIQ spring and summer school programme. UNIQ targets students from disadvantaged backgrounds and brings them to Oxford for a week living in a college and having tutorials, lectures and lab classes. It is a hugely successful programme in yielding results: 34% of UNIQ students go on to gain a place at Oxford (compared to the average UK rate of 20%).
Recently, an opportunity presented itself for Hertford to team up with the University for a much larger provision of places on their UNIQ Summer School. In 2019, Hertford supported UNIQ by increasing the number of places hosted in college from 50 to 200 places (four weeks of 50 students per week), which represented 15% of all the UNIQ places on offer.
We are appealing to donors to help us support this initiative by pledging towards the costs of hosting the UNIQ summer school. Ideally we are looking for a donor, or group of donors, to sponsor each week of the event, towards a weekly goal of £11,000. As an indication of how this contribution will break down:
- 4 nights’ accommodation for 50 students & 5 helpers @ £30 = £6,600
- 4 breakfasts for 55 people @ £5 = £1,100
- 4 evening meals for 55 people @ £15 = £3,300
- Total for one week: £11,000
Any support from donors towards this initiative would make a huge difference to our ability to host this increased number of places on UNIQ.
Visits to schools and colleges
Our Outreach Team visit state-funded schools and colleges, particularly targeting our link areas of Essex, Peterborough, Medway, and the London Borough of Camden. Last year they visited 40 schools as well as 15 Higher Education Fairs and multi-school events.
The average expense of an outreach trip is £150, including transport and accommodation. A gift of £1,500 will cover 10 school visits in a year.
Taster Days & Aspiration Days
Hertford offers secondary school pupils the opportunity to visit the college for an in-house Oxford experience. This includes an academic masterclass, lunch, talks and a tour with current undergraduates. Last year Hertford hosted 65 school visits to the college. Current students are actively involved in these visits: hosting tours, meeting prospective applicants and working to dispel the Oxbridge myths that still abound.
A gift of £200 would cover Hertford’s costs in hosting a group of 15-20 students.
Sustained contact programmes
These events support disadvantaged sixth-formers who want to get to grips with university over a longer period of time. Travel expenses can be prohibitive for some students visiting Oxford.
A gift of £5,000 would allow us to cover travel expenses for up to 70 students. A gift of £700 would cover the catering costs for the day.