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BAME Humanities Study Day 2020

BAME Humanities Study Day 2020

Student ambassadors doing a Q&A

On Monday 27 July 2020, 48 Year 12 students, with Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic (BAME) heritage from across the country joined outreach officers, academics and undergraduates from across the Humanities Division for a Virtual Study Day.

The event was hosted by University College in collaboration with Magdalen College, the History Faculty and English Faculty. It replaced an in-person event, which would have been hosted at Univ had it been able to take place as planned in April.

Dr Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, opened the event and welcomed attendees by introducing the opportunities and resources available to students at Oxford. A Humanities admissions session followed, covering student life, the admissions process and super-curricular resources, followed by a Q&A. This was co-presented by Nelli, Univ’s Schools Liaison and Access Officer, Professor Sian Pooley a History tutor at Magdalen and Rebecca Costello the outreach officer at the English Faculty.

Students then had the opportunity to engage with a subject-specific lecture, from the following selection:
• English: “The ‘World City’ in Victorian Literature” by Dr Ushashi Dasgupta
• Oriental Studies: “Islam and Politics in the Middle East” by Dr Usaama al-Azami
• History: “Representing the First World War” by Dr Michael Joseph
• Medieval and Modern Languages: “Sixteenth-century French Women’s Writing: Challenging Gender Expectations in Selected Works of the Dames des Roches”, by Nupur Patel (DPhil student)

This inspirational selection of talks allowed attendees to delve further into a topic of their choice, and ask questions of the academic speakers about their research.

A student Q&A closed the event, chaired by Vanessa Worthington, responsible for BAME projects in the University’s Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach team. Four undergraduate ambassadors offered insightful answers to some excellent questions posed by the audience.

Reflecting on the day Nelli, Univ’s Schools Liaison and Access Officer said “While we were sad not to meet the attendees in-person as we had planned, it was such a pleasure to work virtually with such a large number of highly motivated and engaged students. I really hope they all feel comfortable and confident to apply having attended the event. The College would be so pleased if they all decided to apply.”

One of the participants on the day said, “The study day really showed me that Oxford cares about academic merit not background, and listening to the languages lecture motivated me to explore further into Renaissance France.”

Another participant commented, “By the end of the day, I felt that attending this institution was a more tangible goal, which I could reach through hard work, without my ethnicity hindering my chances of success.”

Student ambassadors pictured above (bottom left to top left): Mani (Maninder) Sachdeva, (2016, Computer Science and Philosophy), former JCR president, Amber (Magdalen College), Uma (Wadham College) and Dag (Dagmawi) Yosief (2018, PPE), the new JCR President.

Published: 12 August 2020

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