Warden Ken Macdonald QC was joined by Wadham alumni at the opening event where guests heard from local resident, BBC journalist Nick Robinson, who emphasised the real need for academic support to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into higher education.
Former IntoUniversity student Jack Galvin, now at Kings College London, described the impact IntoUniversity Brent had on him, as the first of his family to go to university.
Dr Rachel Carr OBE, CEO and co-founder of IntoUniversity, told the audience that the centre had been running after-school Academic Support sessions for three weeks and was already seeing 45 local young people every week. The centre has also worked with 80 local primary school children and 115 secondary students as part of IntoUniversity’s aspiration-raising FOCUS programme.
Like all IntoUniversity centres, IntoUniversity North Islington will go on to reach 900 local young people each year.
IntoUniversity currently operates 22 centres across London, Nottingham, Bristol, Oxford, Brighton, Leeds and Southampton and has ambitions plans to expand to new parts of the UK. Each centre is staffed by a team of Education Workers, headed up by a Centre Leader and assisted by volunteers and interns. The programme includes academic support, mentoring, and subject specific immersion courses.
Wadham is partnering IntoUniversity North Islington in collaboration with Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and top private schools Westminster School, St Paul’s Girls’ School, Eton College and City of London School.
Under the University of Oxford Regionalisation Scheme, each Oxford College focuses its outreach work on particular local authorities across the UK, and Islington is one of Wadham’s target regions along with Barking and Dagenham, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hackney, Havering, Luton, Milton Keynes, Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets.
This initiative forms part of Wadham’s Access to Excellence programme, where Wadham alumni are helping to raise funds to improve access to Oxford for talented students from all backgrounds.
Ken Macdonald QC, Warden of Wadham College said: “Wadham College is committed to supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into university. Higher education changes lives and we’re delighted to be involved in this exciting project which will open up a wealth of learning opportunities for hundreds of local students every year.”