We have developed an extensive programme of support for our Oxford and Cambridge applicants.
Over recent years we have had 35-45 students applying to Oxbridge. 12 Esher students were offered places at Oxford and Cambridge in 2014 (nine at Cambridge and three at Oxford). Of all the Esher students that applied last year 27.3% were offered places, which compares very favourably to an average success rate for Oxford of 18.6% and for Cambridge of 20%. In 2013 there were 15 places offered to Esher students at Oxford and Cambridge.
Autumn term 6.1 year
In the autumn term we identify students whose GCSE profile suggests that they have the potential to apply to Oxbridge or Russell group universities. They are kept informed of activities that would support an Oxbridge or Russell Group university application. As part of their induction students also have a one to one interview with their tutors and are asked about their aspirations and any extra-curricular achievements. This also helps us to identify potential Oxbridge applicants.
Spring term 6.1 year
In January students interested in applying to Oxford or Cambridge attend a preliminary meeting to learn about the application process. They are kept updated about study days, essay competitions, open days and suggestions for wider reading. In March students are given the opportunity to attend the Oxbridge Student Conference at Epsom Downs Race Course and an Oxbridge admissions tutor visits college to talk to interested students and parents at the Higher Education Day and Evening.
Summer 6.1 year
Students attend a meeting after they have sat their AS levels to find out what they need to do over the summer holidays to prepare their application. Ex-Esher students now studying at Oxford or Cambridge are invited back to talk to the new cohort of interested students about their experiences.
Autumn term 6.2
On their return to College every student interested in applying has a one to one interview with the Oxbridge co-ordinator to discuss their application. Tutors and the Oxbridge co-ordinator support students writing their personal statements. Once students have submitted an application they are allocated a subject mentor to help them prepare for any admissions tests and the interview. Weekly interview preparation sessions take place throughout October and November led by the Oxbridge Co-ordinator. An outreach officer from Oxford or Cambridge visits College to give specialist advice on interview preparation.
Oxbridge Admissions tests are sat in college at the beginning of November. Students called for interview have a mock interview with an experienced member of staff, who has not been their subject mentor. Interviews take place in December. Students feedback their experiences to the Oxbridge co-ordinator to help mentors prepare the next cohort.