Social Mobility and Education

30th May 2018

News, Student news, Alumni news

Oxford’s crucial social mobility role, through offering access to its world class education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds, has been highlighted by the release of its admissions statistics

Although much more needs to be done in broadening access to an Oxford education, Wadham is proud of its progress so far - and we hope that the release of this data will help to inform debate on Oxford’s admissions policies and record.

Wadham’s longstanding commitment to widening access, which has led to a rise in its admission of state school pupils to 68%, was highlighted in a Guardian article last week which praised the College’s commitment to this work in the building of Oxford’s first dedicated access centre. 

Peter Thonemann, Wadham Fellow and Tutor for Access told the Guardian: “We’re drawing our undergraduate body from a wider social base. That drives standards up, it doesn’t drive standards down."

As part of Wadham’s Access to Excellence programme, designed to support students on every step of their educational journey, Wadham is also looking to help its graduates as they enter the workforce. Justine Greening MP, former Secretary of State for Education, will be the keynote speaker at Wadham’s forthcoming Social Mobility Summit in June, where Wadham alumni are invited discuss ways to promote fair access to the professions.

Melvyn Bragg (the Lord Bragg CH), Warren East CBE and Dr Louise Ashley, Royal Holloway University of London and researcher on social mobility, and alumna Amanda Parker, a communications, public affairs and policy specialist, will join the Warden, Ken Macdonald QC and Justine Greening MP at Wadham’s Social Mobility Summit at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London where the theme of the evening is Beyond Access: Progression into the Professions. This event is organised in partnership with the Bridge Group and sponsored by PWC.

Wadham will launch its second Impact Report at the event, an analysis of its 2016/17 access and outreach programme and its impact. In his introduction to the report, Warden of Wadham College, Ken Macdonald QC states: “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. 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.”

The continued growth and success of the College’s access work is testament to the work of the College’s access team, partners and supporters. Wadham is deeply indebted to our wide range of philanthropic supporters, including the College’s alumni; the ambition and scale of our work is only possible with their generous support. 

Do join us at the Social Mobility Summit on Tuesday 5 June at 5.30pm in London. You can register for the event here

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