Access to Excellence

Wadham has long been known as a beacon of fair access and academic excellence and we have ambitious plans. Building on the generosity of our alumni and friends, we are securing funding for every step of the educational journey – from pre-16 outreach to increased support for our students and graduates.

Demonstrating impact

Thanks to your support, Wadham is breaking new ground with its access programmes. Our pre-16 Luton access project was cited in the annual Government report on access to higher education, as one of the most innovative and effective programmes currently being undertaken anywhere in the UK. Working with Social Mobility Think Tank, The Bridge Group, the College continues to assess the impact of our expanding outreach activities. More

Wadham's third Impact Report is a review of the Access and Outreach work carried out by the College as part of the Access to Excellence programme.

2019 Impact Report
2018 Impact Report
2017 Impact Report

Wadham's access work was recently singled out as best practice by Sam Gyimah, the Minister for Universities, and highlighted in The Guardian newspaper

The Office for Fair Access cites a case study of Wadham's Luton project in its report 'Access agreements for 2018-19: key statistics and analysis'. More

How alumni are making a difference

From the Warden, Ken Macdonald Kt QC

“With a student body among Oxford’s most diverse and a world-class academic reputation, Wadham is demonstrating that fair access, international reach and academic excellence go hand in hand. Our mission now is to break down the barriers that still exist. We want Wadham to be the living proof that fairness in education is not about lowering standards; it’s about gathering up the best, wherever they are to be found – and we are looking to our alumni and friends to help us find them".

“This is why we are asking you to consider investing in our bold new five-step Access to Excellence programme.

Help us to keep Wadham a progressive, open, special place of outstanding scholarship. Help us to give others the opportunities that Wadham gave to you.”

From Warren East CBE (Engineering, 1980)
Chairman, Wadham College Development Council
CEO of Rolls Royce

"The Wadham I see in the future continues to be in division one academically, engaged with the wider community and known for making a positive impact on the world.

"If you have a similar vision of Wadham, please give and help make it a reality. Faced with the challenges of the present, the Wadham of the future depends on us."

Building plans

Building for the future

Wadham College is constructing two new buildings; Oxford's first-ever purpose-built Access Centre will become the hub for our extensive school outreach work. A fully accessible Undergraduate Centre will provide our students with inspirational facilities for social and academic interaction. Help us build an inclusive community for the future.

Our Access to Excellence strategy. Five bold steps.

In close collaboration with alumni, students and colleagues across Oxford, we have developed a comprehensive five-step strategy – covering the entire educational journey. Our Access to Excellence programme aims to support young people from the moment they consider university, through their undergraduate and graduate studies, and as they go out into the world to make a positive impact on society. More

How you can help
Five steps to excellence illustration

How you can help

By building a ring-fenced “Access to Excellence Fund”, we hope to finance all activities related to the five-step journey. This requires an investment of £40 million by 2020. The good news is that thanks to your generosity, £38 million has already been raised. We are inviting all of our alumni and friends to help us reach the final target and make our vision a reality. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how you can help.

Innovative subject-specific summer schools bust Oxford myths and help prepare school students from target schools for university

Means-tested bursaries enable talented students from less wealthy backgrounds to flourish at Oxford and minimse their burden of debt

Graduate scholarships bring the best minds to Wadham – whether from the developed or developing world

We are also partnering with social mobility think tank, The Bridge Group, to measure the impact of our expanded Access to Excellence activities and to pass on what works to other institutions.

We couldn’t do this without you

We are fortunate that more than 23% of our alumni support the College every year. This is a remarkable achievement and our thanks go out to everyone who has given. Yet, in order for Wadham to remain a beacon of fair access and diversity, we are asking you all to give your best gift. If you are already a donor, perhaps you would consider increasing your annual contribution or making a significant one-off donation.

Julie Hage and Marco Zhang

Whether your passion is for social mobility or for academic excellence, whether your interests lie in undergraduate or postgraduate education, whether your focus is the UK or the wider world… or whether you simply love Wadham and want to give something back, your gift – large or small – will make an impact.

Get in touch

We are always pleased to hear from you. Please do get in touch to discuss how your donation can make a difference.

Julie Hage:
Marco Zhang:

Architect's drawing

A view from Wadham's Back Quad Development Access Centre