The first programme, Opportunity Oxford, will introduce a studyprogramme for up to 200 students who have lodged a “normal” application to theUniversity and are on course to achieve their entry grades but need additional supportto “bridge the gap” between secondary school and university. “Itis a significant step towards ensuring that those who are capable, and have hadto endure unique circumstance and hardship through no fault of their own, areafforded the opportunity to succeed as much as anyone else.” MeanwhileSU President Joe Inwood said: “This is a major step forward in improving accessto Oxford. Students are excited to see the University commit to these newinitiatives, and it is a reflection on student efforts to bring this to theforefront of the University agenda. According to the University, this will allow these students to “beginundergraduate study with greater confidence, new friends and familiarity withlife at university.” The programmes are inspired by Univ’s existing Opportunity Programme and LMH’s innovative Foundation Year scheme. The programme will provide a structured course of study at home, as well as a two-week residential study course before the start of the first term. It will introduce students to lectures, tutorials, and university level group and individual work, and will also work to build on the students’ subject knowledge and academic abilities. Some students on the Opportunity Oxford programme may be those who have previously failed to meet the University’s entry requirements. The current plan is for the University to phase these programmes in, building to 200 Opportunity Oxford and 50 Foundation Oxford places by 2023. CherelleMalongo, another student, who took part in the LMH foundation year and nowstudies Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, argued that “I am verypleased to hear that the University will be introducing Foundation Oxford. According to the University, “The scheme aims to open up places tostudents with high academic potential who, owing to their circumstances, arenot yet in a position to make a competitive Oxford application. The second programme, Foundation Oxford, will run a university-wideversion of the “Foundation Year” scheme pioneered at Lady Margaret Hall, andwill “be offered to students who have experienced personal disadvantage or severelydisrupted education.” The University of Oxford has announced two ambitious new access programmes, set to bring in up to 250 students from disadvantaged backgrounds annually by 2023. According to the University, the new programmes will “build on the success of Oxford’s existing activities to open its doors to a wider field of students. These include the UNIQ summer school, the Oxnet communities initiative and the use of contextual information to select students for undergraduate courses. “Thissummer will see UNIQ expand by 50% to help a total of 1,350 state school pupilsfrom disadvantaged backgrounds transform their chances of making a successfulapplication to Oxford.” “This represents a significant step change for the University, boosting the proportion of students coming to Oxford from underrepresented backgrounds from 15% of the current UK intake to 25%.” “Bythe end of their programmes they will have developed the confidence to meet thechallenges of a demanding undergraduate degree. Both schemes will be free andstudents’ residential and living costs will be fully funded throughout thecourses.” According to the University, “The schemes offer students the chance to immerse themselvesin the Oxford environment, developing their study skills and their subjectknowledge. The students will benefit from the University’s internationallyoutstanding teaching facilities while living and studying in a collegecommunity. “Eligible students could include refugees and children in care orwith care responsibilities themselves. Once in operation, offers for FoundationOxford will be made on the basis of lower contextual A-level grades, ratherthan the University’s standard offers.” “Oxford SU has long held access at the heart of our work, so this is excellent news for Oxford students.” According to a University press release, “When fully up and running, these major new programmes will offer transformative paths to outstanding education for up to 250 state school students a year, representing 10% of Oxford’s undergraduate intake. “As a young woman from Newham, Oxford seemed a distant dream, but since arriving in September 2017, I can’t imagine being anywhere else. The Foundation Year has changed my life and today’s announcement means many more lives will be transformed in the future.” The two new programmes, Opportunity Oxford and Foundation Oxford, both aim to increase the number of students from socio-economically or otherwise disadvantaged groups, including carers and refugees. Ffion Price, who studied on Univ’sBridging Programme, said: “As astudent who knows first-hand the benefits of access initiatives such as theUniv bridging programme, I could not be happier to see the University takingthe necessary steps to ensure that more prospective students of the future areextended the same life-changing opportunity. “Itis a turning point for this institution – a recognition that, whileunfortunately students up and down the country are not afforded a level playingfield, as an institution we are capable of generating initiatives that help tocombat that. Successful applications will then undergo a one year,subject-specific programme building their capacity for university level study:those who are successful will then move onto the Oxford undergraduate degreefor which they were admitted. “Asa beneficiary of the LMH Foundation Year, I am heartened to know many morestudents will benefit from an Oxford education. TheVice Chancellor, Louise Richardson, claimed: “This is a sea change in Oxfordadmissions. Colleagues from across the University, its colleges and departmentshave united behind a commitment to accelerate the pace at which we arediversifying our student body and ensuring that every academically exceptionalstudent in the country knows that they have a fair chance of a place at Oxford.” “Mostrecent figures for the 2019 intake show a record 64.5% of offers were made tostudents from state schools while 15.7% of offers went to students from themost under-represented backgrounds.