Queens' had a successful evening at the Student Social Mobility Awards yesterday, with our Admissions Team voted runner-up of the Best University Initiative Award for their Bradford Mobility Initiative and undergraduate student Victoria Ayodeji winning the Outstanding Achievement Award.
The ceremony took place at the House of Lords, hosted by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC. Dame Alison Peacock (1994) presented some of the prizes.
Photograph, right: Victoria Ayodeji with her award.
The Bradford Mobility Initiative
Queens’ College has become the first Oxbridge college to embed outreach staff in a local community. Responding to a differential pattern of regional recruitment and following extensive consultation with local partners, Queens’ appointed its first Bradford-based Schools Liaison Officer (SLO) in September 2017. The SLO is co-located with the Education Covenant and Bradford Pathways teams within Bradford Council to encourage maximum sharing of information and good practice. The post holder has built extensive partnerships with local schools and organizations, such as the National Science and Media museum, to deliver targeted application support and outreach initiatives to pupils in Bradford and the West Yorkshire area. The immediate results have been impressive with a 50% increase in applications to Cambridge (and Oxford) in the last admissions round. Moreover, these applicants were more likely to be successful and have their places confirmed than the university average. The real results of these new initiatives will not be visible for several years, however. The college is determined to engage with the area in the long term, dispelling myths, encouraging applications to Higher Tariff institutions and increasing educational aspiration and attainment. Current programmes work with pupils from Key Stages 3-5 and there are plans to expand this to Key Stage 2. An important component of this work is bringing students from West Yorkshire who study at Cambridge back to the area as ambassadors for the College. All this work was made possible by a generous anonymous donation to the College.
The Student Social Mobility Awards
The SSMAs are organised by upReach, a charity that works in close partnership with employers and universities to improve social mobility by creating the conditions for undergraduates from less advantaged backgrounds to access and sustain top graduate jobs. The awards are supported by the Social Mobility Commission, an organisation which monitors progress towards improving social mobility in the UK, and promotes social mobility in England.
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