On 8th November 2016, ten of Cowley’s Most Able Year 11 students spent the day at St. John’s College and St. Anne’s College, Oxford University. The trip, which was designed to get the gifted students thinking about their options for the future, included tours and four talks from PhD students on subjects ranging from Physics to Public Policy.
The students found the visit very informative, inspiring them to set their sights high. James Metcalfe said: “This has been a great opportunity to experience university life. After meeting students from the University and hearing what their life is like here, I can honestly say that I am inspired.”
Mr Mercure, Assistant Headteacher at Cowley, commented that the students were a credit to the school – he was particularly impressed by how engaged they were and how their perceptions of the university changed as the visit progressed.
“Prior to the visit, some students had conveyed their thoughts on Oxford being for ‘certain types of students’ – this in comparison to a statement I had from a student boarding the coach back home of “I can see myself studying at Oxford, watch this space, Sir!” has reinforced the importance of visits to Oxbridge and other Russell Group Universities for our students.”
Last year saw the number of Cowley students accepted into Russell Group universities reach an all-time high and part of this has been credited to Oxbridge visits organised by the college.
Recent stats from Oxford University reveal that the 2016 intake included the highest proportion of state school pupils for at least 40 years, with 59.2% of offers made to state schools
Cowley’s students said that meeting students and staff at Oxford had helped to make the university seem more accessible and they had not found it beyond their reach, with student, Ben Scott, noting: “The visit has made me realise that attending a world class university, such as Oxford, is not about where you are from or what school you went to, it’s about looking at what you want to achieve and investing the necessary time and effort to get there.”