As a continuation of Oriel’s partnership with Generating Genius, the first in a series of STEM@Oxford: Destination Oxford events was held at the House of Lords, sponsored by Oriel’s Provost, Lord Mendoza CBE.
Bringing together 30 Generating Genius students, the event was designed to give an insight into the application process at Oxford, as well as giving the opportunity to dispel any misconceptions and answer questions from the students as well as their parents and guardians.
Oriel’s Outreach Officer, Arron O’Connor, delivered a programme of talks and Q and A sessions covering a range of areas. These included information about how STEM subjects are taught at the University of Oxford, how to make a competitive application and how financial obstacles can be overcome by applying for scholarships and bursaries. Generating Genius then closed the talks with a session on how to prepare for applying to Oxford.
Arron describes STEM@Oxford:
“Events like this a hugely important part of my work in encouraging and attracting the best and brightest students to apply to Oxbridge regardless of their background. I was hugely impressed by the cohort of Generating Genius students and greatly enjoyed hearing about their subject interests through their one-minute presentations. To have been able to host an event like this in a venue as prestigious as the House of Lords was a huge coup and helps reinforce the message that these students should aspire to achieve their greatest ambitions.”
Launched in 2004, Generating Genius aims to help students from low income households and Black African and Caribbean backgrounds develop key skills via various programmes to enter top universities for STEM and then go into high flying careers. Through the STEM@Oxford programme, the 30-strong cohort of Year 12 students will learn about the Oxford admissions process, in order to support them in their aspirations.
Oriel has worked with Generating Genius since 2021 and is the first Oxford College to do so. Through partnerships and events like this, Oriel is aiming to encourage more applications from those from backgrounds that are currently under-represented at Oxford.
Oriel’s Access and Outreach programme, which involved almost 3,000 school pupils last year, is funded through generous donations from alumni.