Aim for Oxford 2024 launches in Newcastle

On Saturday 27 January the Christ Church Access team joined forces with the Outreach team from St Anne’s College to launch the 2024 Aim for Oxford programme. 

The auditorium of Newcastle’s Great North Museum was packed for the event. More than 60 secondary school students, together with their parents, carers, younger siblings and supporters, had gathered to learn about life at the University of Oxford, to speak to current Oxford students from the North East, and to hear what the Aim for Oxford programme has to offer. 

Aim for Oxford is our chief sustained-contact programme for Year 12 students in the North East of England. Each autumn hundreds of ambitious sixth formers apply to join the programme, a cohort of 60 students being selected on the basis of academic merit and contextual indicators of disadvantage

It is always rewarding to see the growth in the students we work with throughout the year.

Dr Joel Butler, Christ Church Access & School Liaison Officer

Among the students shortlisted for Aim for Oxford 2024, all meet at least one criterion for widening participation. 72% of participants come from postcodes in ACORN categories 4–6, indicating socioeconomic disadvantage; 74% are from postcodes that fall into POLAR quintiles 1 and 2, indicating low rates of progression to higher education; 74% of the cohort do not have a parent or carer who attended university; 68% reported having met eligibility criteria for Free School Meals or the 16–19 Bursary; and 15% of the cohort reported having responsibilities as Young Carers. Participants who chose to make Oxford applications in Year 13 have performed favourably relative to applicants from similar backgrounds, and there have been graduates of the programme among our North East Oxford offer holders in each year that Aim for Oxford has run. 

Christ Church's Access & Schools Liaison Officer Dr Joel Butler commented on the role the Aim for Oxford programme has in widening access: 'Aim for Oxford, alongside our similar Year 12 Horizons programme in Barnet, is one of Christ Church’s most important access schemes for talented but less advantaged young people on the cusp of university applications. It is always rewarding to see the growth in the students we work with throughout the year and the confidence and camaraderie they develop as the programme progresses. 

'The number of applications to Christ Church from North East candidates in the last admissions cycle was encouraging and we hope to see more students making competitive applications in future.'

The Aim for Oxford programme begins in January of Year 12 with a series of in-person events in Newcastle and Durham, usually scheduled for the last weekend of each month from January to April. Each event features a talk covering themes related to applications and admissions, and a choice of two academic tasters delivered by current Oxford academics. At this year’s launch event, the cohort of 63 students benefitted from sessions on Computer Science and Politics from Access Tutor Tom Wilson and Tutor for Admissions Professor Alex Kuo

Visit the Christ Church site to learn more about our commitment to access and the Aim for Oxford programme, and view our impact report for more on our efforts we have made alongside other Oxford colleges to support and encourage applications to Oxford from students in the North East of England. 

A presentation at the Aim for Oxford 2024 launch