Wadham College held 156 access events involving 6,360 students in 2016/17, engaging with 20% more students than the previous year.
According to the report, compiled by The Bridge Group working with Wadham College, over the last three years Wadham has dramatically expanded its outreach work with the College’s 200 + targeted ‘link’ schools.
“It’s great to see continuing progress in engagement with an increasingly wide range of schools, areas and year groups,” says Wadham’s Access and Outreach Officer, Dr Hugh Munro.
“The report shows the increased proportion of students from the most under-represented groups as well as our increased engagement with both pre-16 and post-16 groups,” Dr Munro adds.
Wadham’s access champion also suggests that there has been an increased focus on attainment and that sustained and life-cycle approaches have meant an effective continuation of contact with those we are trying to reach.
The 2018 Impact Report outlines the policy environment; Wadham’s five step access strategy; the College’s access events, including the Access Roadshow; the Luton Project for pre-16 students; post-16 activity; academic summer schools and the details of our new Access Centre project.
“Wadham continues to be a national leader in the debate over fair access in higher education, and the College’s work over the last year has continued to receive significant national recognition,” says Wadham Warden, Ken Macdonald QC.
“Our access programmes were recently singled out as best practice by Sam Gyimah, the Minister for Universities, and our pre-16 Luton access project was highlighted in the chief annual Government report on access to higher education as one of the most innovative and effective programmes currently being undertaken anywhere in the UK,” he adds.
College plans to build a dedicated access facility (the first of its kind in Oxford), to house its expanding access programmes, are well underway and a wider appeal for the Back Quad project will further support these efforts. From 2020, the Dr Lee Shau Kee Building will welcome thousands of pupils every year and create a hub for the College’s access work in the form of summer schools, access and aspiration days, teacher briefings and conferences.
Wadham also aims to contribute to wider public understanding about how universities can help mitigate deep-rooted inequalities in the education system and the workplace. At the recent Social Mobility Summit at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, London, Chair of Wadham's Development Council, Warren East CBE, highlighted the importance of fair access to the workplace. “I am a fan of having an action plan that delivers over a sensible period of time,” the Rolls Royce Chief Executive Officer said of the problem. “Our graduates and apprentices (Rolls-Royce recruits some 200 graduates and 600 apprentices a year) then act as ambassadors going into schools to encourage pupils and teachers,” he added.