Access Oxbridge is a non-profit organisation which connects disadvantaged students with mentors from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. It was launched by University of Oxford graduate Joe Seddon in September 2018, and within one month signed up over 500 university students willing to tutor a disadvantaged student. In the organisation's first year of operation over 50 of its students gained places at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, resulting in widespread coverage in the national press. The organisation has been endorsed by a number alumni of the two universities, including Alan Rusbridger, Janina Ramirez, and Malala Yousafzai.
History[edit | edit source]
Access Oxbridge was founded by Joe Seddon in September 2018. Seddon graduated from Mansfield College, Oxford in July 2018 with First Class Honours in Oxford's famous Philosophy, Politics, and Economics degree. After turning down a number of jobs offers to work in the City, Seddon instead decided to create an online peer-to-peer platform connecting Oxbridge mentors with disadvantaged students. Previously, Seddon had written a number of articles for The Telegraph, criticising the National Union of Students' failure to effectively encourage wider participation in education. This occurred at a time when both the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge were receiving widespread criticism due to their failure to broaden their admissions, with David Lammy MP releasing data in The Guardian revealing a lack of diversity at both universities.
After graduating, Seddon developed the Access Oxbridge online platform over a period of two weeks, utilising programming skills which were self-taught throughout his teenage years. The website was then launched on September 12, 2018, with over 100 university students signing up to mentor within the first 24 hours of launch and a number of endorsements from notable public figures, including Malala Yousafzai. Since then, the website has grown into a community of over 500 active mentors and 200 disadvantaged students, making Access Oxbridge the biggest online community of university mentors. In 2018, over 50 Access Oxbridge gained offers from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
Services[edit | edit source]
Access Oxbridge is an online platform which connects current university students and recent graduates with high-school students from "disadvantaged backgrounds". The website uses matching algorithms to match students from disadvantaged backgrounds with volunteer mentors from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Mentors then provide weekly video tutorials offering admissions advice on personal statements, admissions tests and mock interviews to ensure that applicants are guided through each phase of the Oxbridge admissions process. The service is completely free at the point of use, and claims to provide an accessible alternative to the tuition provided by private education consultancies.
In order to qualify for mentorship, students must meet three eligibility requirements:
- Applicants must have attended a state (non-fee paying) school from the ages of 11-16.
- Applicants must be from low socio-economic backgrounds or areas with low university take-up
- Applicants must have a strong academic record, with at least six A or A* (7-9) GCSE grades
References[edit | edit source]
- "Posh kids get private tutoring to get into Oxbridge. This recent grad is offering it to state school applicants for free". UK. 2018-10-02. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
- Education Editor, Rosemary Bennett (2019-02-02). "Oxford graduate Joe Seddon offers key to interview ordeal". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
- "Oxford grad offers free tutoring to poor kids". Metro Newspaper UK. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
- Whitfield, Francesca (2018-10-04). "Interviewing Joe Seddon: Mansfield College graduate and CEO and founder of non-profit startup Access Oxbridge". The Oxford Student. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
- Seddon, Joe (2017-07-18). "In defence of tuition fees: a student's perspective". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
- Adams, Richard; editor, Education (2017-10-20). "Oxbridge 'failing to address diversity', David Lammy says". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
- "Posh kids get private tutoring to get into Oxbridge. This recent grad is offering it to state school applicants for free". UK. 2018-10-02. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
- "Make Oxbridge accessible to all". The Cambridge Student. 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
- "Access Oxbridge". Retrieved 2018-12-15.
- "This Oxford grad has helped 50 disadvantaged students get Oxbridge places this year". UK. 2019-01-29. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
- "How it Works | Access Oxbridge". Retrieved 2018-12-15.
- "Stephen Nolan - 03/02/2019 - BBC Sounds". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
- "Find a Mentor | Access Oxbridge". Retrieved 2018-12-15.
Access Oxbridge[edit | edit source]
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