In 2016 Univ launched an ambitious new scheme – the Opportunity Programme – to expand the number of UK students from disadvantaged backgrounds at the College. The scheme has run successfully for several years, providing places and academic support for four cohorts of Opportunity Programme students.
In 2020, following the success of the Opportunity Programme, a University-wide programme, Opportunity Oxford, was launched. Having had a pivotal role in its design and development, the College continues to be actively involved in shaping and participating in Opportunity Oxford.
Read below for more information about the historic Opportunity Programme and our ongoing involvement in Opportunity Oxford.
A Message from the Master
“One of the things that attracted me to Univ was the strong and long-standing commitment the College had to widening access. One way this has been demonstrated is through pioneering the innovative Opportunity Programme. We are very pleased to see an expanded version of the programme running successfully on a University-wide scale. I hope that this will have a significant impact, increasing the diversity of the student body.” – Baroness Valerie Amos, Master
The Opportunity Programme
Launched in 2016, the Opportunity Programme provided 10 extra places per year, filled through the University’s normal competitive admissions process, but available only to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
As well as a place on the undergraduate course, the Opportunity Programme provided to these students a free three-week bridging programme in the summer before they started their degree. This was in recognition that many students from disadvantaged backgrounds may not have had the opportunity to broaden and deepen their academic skills and experience beyond the school curriculum.
The Opportunity Programme, and subsequently Opportunity Oxford, has become a core part of Univ’s identity as a college determined to open up Oxford to under-represented groups. The participants of both programmes have contributed so much to all aspects of the Univ community.
The Opportunity Programme saw the College increase its undergraduate intake by 10%. Although the College no longer runs an in-house Opportunity Programme, we have maintained the 10% increase in undergraduate numbers. These places are now reserved for participants in the University-wide Opportunity Oxford programme. While a different and separate programme, Opportunity Oxford runs similarly to its precursor and, like the Opportunity Programme, relies on an increase to the overall footprint of the College.
The College is extremely grateful to its Old Members for their generous support, without which the Opportunity Programme and the College’s continued involvement with Opportunity Oxford, would not have been possible.
What is Opportunity Oxford?
Univ is now proud to be an active participant in Opportunity Oxford, a university-wide programme providing an academic bridging programme to up to 200 eligible participants.
Alongside a welcome day for participants and families, the programme consists of an online course and summer residential. Overall, Opportunity Oxford aims to provide participants both with academic skills to support their success in their further studies and with a chance to settle into university life.
To find out more about this programme, including the available subjects, eligibility criteria and how to apply, see the University’s website.