St Catherine’s College redefines Oxford and is committed to access for all. St Catherine’s can trace its roots back to 1868, when a ‘Delegacy for Unattached Students’ formed. This delegacy, created in response to the recommendation of a Royal Commission, enabled students to be members of the University without being a member of a college, thus avoiding the prohibitive costs of an Oxford college.
We host a variety of school and college visits at St Catherine’s College throughout the academic year. A typical visit usually involves the following:
We can also provide two other types of sessions. Firstly, workshops on university life, post-16 decisions and university applications amongst other topics. Secondly, we can run academic session where academics provide an insight into research and teaching at university. We are very willing to tailor the visits to the needs of your students, if at all possible, so please do contact us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss ideas.
It may be possible for a representative of the College to visit your school or college to give an ‘Oxford Explained’ presentation. Please email us at email@example.com to enquire.
If you are unable to attend the University of Oxford Open Days then you can visit the college at another more convenient time. You can book a tour of the College by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can report to the Porters’ Lodge on arrival where you can collect a prospectus for the college and a map for a self-guided tour. Please note you will not be able to access any of the buildings. If you are unable to visit Oxford you can also look at our social media pages, website, videos and interactive map.
In an exciting new initiative, we have established a major new outreach programme (working with a network of eight schools in Lewisham), to raise pupils’ aspirations regarding higher education. The name ‘Catalyst’ has been chosen to convey the positive notion of an increased rate of change: an increase in the rate of applications to top universities, the increased work rate of pupils with the extra drive to secure a place at their preferred university, and ultimately an increased success rate of applicants, are all key aims of this programme.
The sustained contact partnership provides pupils with tailored support at multiple points in their school career, as well as an opportunity to visit Oxford. Using a ‘hub model’ for each event, where schools take turns to host pupils from the other schools in the network, the College has a greater impact in terms of the total number of participants, and shares the administrative and logistical strain of organising large scale events with all schools in the partnership.
The programme consists of:
Point 1: In Year 8 outreach staff visit a hub school to run interactive workshops. These will introduce topics such as university, the college and student life.
Point 2: In Year 10 outreach staff visit a hub school and provide more specific workshops on picking A-levels and exploring careers.
Point 3: Later in Year 10 students have a second point of contact but this time at St Catherine’s College. Students get to experience college life, meet current students, eat in our Dining Hall, and experience an Oxford tutorial with an academic tutor.
Point 4: The last point of contact is in Year 12. Tailored support is given for applications to university, including workshops on personal statements and interviews.
In June 2015, Catz ran its first annual Summer School for Northern Irish students in collaboration with New College. The Summer School takes place at the end of the summer term and is designed to run up to the Open Days, allowing Northern Irish students to make the most from a single visit. The students are given the opportunity to experience life as an Oxford student, staying in College accommodation, eating meals in the College dining hall and attending tutorials. There is also a programme of events for teachers, including a Q&A session with tutors.
We welcome a number of Leathersellers’ Scholars and pupils from the Leathersellers’ Schools. We typically welcome about 50 students. The students are given a talk about going to university, Oxford University, and the admissions process. They are also given a tour of College and have a Q&A session with current students. The students also receive a subject taster session from either the sciences, medicine or the arts.
Last year we held our first Women in Science Day in parallel with similar events at Trinity College and Jesus College. This was a very successful event and we are planning to run another Women in Science day again this year to expand our work encouraging women in science and STEMM (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine).
If you are thinking of applying to the University of Oxford then we would encourage you to find out more about St Catherine’s College by attending one of our Open Days. The College will be open for the next main University Open Days, which are scheduled for Wednesday 3 July 2019, Thursday 4 July 2019, and Friday 20 September 2019.
There is no need to book to attend our Open Days – everyone is welcome! We will be open from 9.00 am until 6.00 pm. Full details can be found on our College Open Days page.
St Catherine’s College works in collaboration with a number of schemes and charities, hosting and supporting access events and initiatives.
The Pathways Programme is an initiative coordinated by the Colleges of the University of Oxford. The programme aims to provide information, advice and guidance on higher education and Oxford to academically able students, and teachers, in non-selective state schools with little history of student progression to Oxford. All of the events are run in Oxford, and are free for students to attend. If you are a teacher wishing to apply on behalf of students please see the Pathways website.
The Target Oxbridge programme aims to aid Year 12 Caribbean and black African students, and mixed race students with Caribbean and black African heritage, in getting into the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. St Catherine’s College is proud to support this scheme financially and in kind. For more information on the scheme please visit the Target Oxbridge website.
UNIQ is the University of Oxford’s flagship outreach programme. Its aims are to raise aspirations of students attending state schools and provide information on higher education and applications to the University of Oxford. Preference is generally given to those from areas with low progression to higher education and/or low socio-economic status backgrounds. Students that apply may go on to be selected for either a Spring residential, Summer residential or UNIQ Digital, all provided free of charge. For more information please see the UNIQ website.
The Brilliant Club, is a charity that aims to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities. They use PhD students to provide tutorials to small groups of pupils and increase their interest in learning. St Catherine’s College hosts several events in collaboration with The Brilliant Club throughout the year. For information see The Brilliant Club website.
For more information and resources relating to widening access and participation please visit the University of Oxford Access web page.