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

Dr Lee Shau Kee Building and the William Doo Undergraduate Centre

Wadham's newly opened Locke Access Centre in the Dr Lee Shau Kee Building provides purpose built space to accommodate our extensive access programme. More 

Impact Briefing2020

Read our 2020 Impact Briefing and Impact Reports, reviewing and evaluating the access and outreach work carried out as part of our Access to Excellence programme.

Springboard logo

Springboard, an initiative to support school pupils during the pandemic, has been launched by Wadham in collaboration with Balliol and Hertford.

Visual showing the impact of Wadham's online access work

Wadham’s online access resources, tailor-made to help school students with their university applications, have been viewed some 5000 times over the past two months.

Sir Michael Barber at Wadham Social Mobility Summit

“I’m really glad that social mobility is so firmly on the agenda for Wadham. The very fact that they are on their third Social Mobility Summit but much more importantly the Access Centre being constructed in the Back Quad, the emphasis they have given in terms of the leadership they are providing in Oxford – these things are very important.” Sir Michael Barber, Chair of the Office for Students

Luton school students

The Bedfordshire Project, a sustained contact programme led by Wadham College, working with all of the state schools in Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire, builds on the existing programme run by Wadham with non-selective state schools in Luton.

Your support is changing lives

Former Warden, Ken Macdonald QC

"The progress that we have made in recent years is testament to the College’s sustained commitment to access, and the critical role that support from our alumni and friends has played in this. In the last three years, we have increased significantly the volume and impact of our outreach activity. More students are progressing from our outreach programmes to Oxford and other highly competitive universities, and next year we will unveil the University’s first dedicated access space.

Ken Macdonald QC

“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.”

Louise Richardson, Vice Chancellor, University of Oxford

“The pandemic’s impact on the economy will effect most acutely those who are already disadvantaged. That is why the University is giving particular attention to equality as we navigate this new world, and why Wadham’s redoubled focus on access, on evaluation evidence and on how to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds is so important”.  

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 £45 million by 2022. The good news is that thanks to your generosity, £41 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.

Summer school studemt

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

Student in the library

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

Wadham Image - No alt

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.

Building plans

Building for the future

Wadham is proud to have completed two new buildings, scheduled to open later in 2021. 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.

We couldn’t do this without you

We are fortunate that more than 21% 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

Julie Hage, Director of Development

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:

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
A view from the William Doo Undergraduate Centre

A view from the William Doo Undergraduate Centre