We have developed an extensive programme of support for our Oxford and Cambridge applicants.
The Oxbridge programme works with students across all departments who aspire to study at Oxford or Cambridge. Specialist support is also made available for students applying for medicine and veterinary sciences.
We have developed an extensive programme of support for our Oxford and Cambridge applicants. Only a small proportion of total applicants to Oxbridge are successful. In addition the application process must be completed earlier than for other universities, and students may be asked to submit evidence of written work, complete additional aptitude tests and be asked to attend an interview before final decisions are made. The Oxbridge programme at Esher supports students from the very start of their journey, as they begin to research the options available to them, right through to the final rounds of interviews.
Over recent years we have had 35-45 students applying to Oxbridge. In their first year, students are invited to participate in a range of activities that will support their research into university and course selection. In the second year, students are offered more targeted and specific support through the various stages of the application process.
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, and they are invited to join the Oxbridge support programme. Students may also join the programme based on the recommendation of their tutors or teachers, or by declaring an interest in applying to Oxbridge.
They are informed of activities such as talks, lectures, essay competitions and subject taster days coming up at Oxford or Cambridge universities that would support an Oxbridge university application. Talks and lectures are also organised at college, where external speakers, or the Oxbridge coordinator introduce students to different aspects of the universities or the application process.
Spring term 6.1 year
In March students are given the opportunity to attend the Oxbridge Student Conference at Epsom Downs Race Course, which is an excellent way to begin their research on courses available at both universities. On Higher Education Day / Evening talks are organised to introduce students and parents to the stages of applying to Oxbridge.
Summer 6.1 year
Students are kept informed of and are encouraged to attend open days at colleges and the main university days too. Students attend a Preparing for Oxbridge Over Summer Conference after they have sat their progression exams, where outreach officers and admissions tutors from both universities give useful tips on issues such as writing a personal statement, and conducting super curricular research.
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. Subject departments will offer Oxbridge specific extension sessions. Students will also attend weekly generic support sessions throughout the autumn term led by the Oxbridge Co-ordinator. An outreach officer from Oxford or Cambridge visits College to give specialist advice on interview preparation.
Students are guided through registration and preparation for university admissions test, and the tests take place at college, usually in the first week of November. Students called for interview have a mock interview with an experienced member of staff, (generally someone 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.