When Rare launched Target Oxbridge back in 2012, we did so on a shoestring budget, using the network of our own Oxbridge team members to support and develop a handful of talented black candidates. Last year, we offered our full programme of support to 45 students as they went through the Oxbridge admissions process, but after an increase in funding from both Oxford and Cambridge Universities, we will be able to recruit 160 black students to the programme for 2018.
“It’s amazing to hear how such an invaluable programme has reached new heights!” says Cambridge undergrad Victoria Chris, studying Natural Sciences at Fitzwilliam College. “Target Oxbridge was definitely one of the main reasons why I got into Cambridge. Through the mentoring and seminars, I was encouraged to find a new way to express my ideas and thoughts.” The development programme, which runs over the course of a year, involves residential visits, academic sessions, and mentoring by current and former Oxbridge students, including Rare staff.
The step up in sponsorship means both Oxford and Cambridge will now host an Easter residential, followed by a summer visit or residential. The residential courses will give the students a taster of life at the universities, with university tutors teaching sessions, and the students experiencing the city.
Target Oxbridge alum Fis Noibi is a joint honours student in French and Arabic at Somerville College, Oxford. She says: “With this expansion, I can honestly see the face of Oxford changing for the better, to become a much more inclusive, open and diverse space. I'm sure that this will be a real game-changer in the lives of many brilliant and more than capable students who otherwise may not have applied!"
In this latest admissions round, Target Oxbridge had its most impactful year yet, with 35 black and mixed with black heritage students on the programme securing offers from Oxford and Cambridge. With a total of 86 students receiving some level of support from Target Oxbridge in 2016-17, this translates to a success rate of 41%, well above the national average.
Programme founder Naomi Kellman couldn’t be more pleased with this latest development. “When we started the programme we had just six students, and so to be able to offer help to 160 students this year is a wonderful opportunity. I look forward to even better results in 2019!”
Visit the Target Oxbridge site here.