Trinity launches new access programme with Target Oxbridge for Black students in Year 10

The programme will be offered to 100 students free of charge

Target Oxbridge and Trinity College have launched a new access initiative aimed at de-mystifying Oxford and Cambridge for Year 10 students, specifically helping more black 14 and 15 year olds prepare to apply to leading universities.

The programme will run free of charge, online for up to 100 pupils with high academic potential, consisting of webinars with Trinity College academics and students as well as advice provided by Target Oxbridge alumni.

Those eligible to apply for the course are UK students of black African and Caribbean heritage, including students of mixed race. Applicants must be predicted at least three GCSEs at Grade 7 or above.

Target Oxbridge students at Trinity (Photo Credit: Graham KopeCoga)

The webinars will seek to demystify Oxbridge and offer an insight into college life, give information on the application process and advice on preparing applications. Guidance will also be given on the career options that follow from different degree subjects. At the end of the series, students will attend a short online lecture, followed by a Q&A session with a Cambridge academic.

The programme is devised by diversity recruitment specialist, Rare, and Trinity College, Cambridge. Naomi Kellman, Rare’s Senior Manager for Schools and Universities, who helped to design the initiative, stressed the importance of reaching students at a younger age. Ms Kellman said: “Often when Year 12 students join Target Oxbridge they have concerns about what life is like at Oxbridge for Black students. By introducing younger students to Black British Cambridge students, we will be able to start dispelling the myths about Cambridge earlier, allowing students to focus their energies on their academic studies and preparations.

“We also often find that applicants to Target Oxbridge have selected A-level subject combinations that mean they are ineligible for their desired university course. This is often due to limited access to good advice about the relationship between A-level choices and university courses. By providing Black Year 10 students with access to the right information, we hope to help them improve their chances of securing a place on their chosen Cambridge course.”

Target Oxbridge has been running a free mentoring programme since its launch in 2012. The original programme, which also prioritises state school students, is designed for Year 12 students, and features advice on applications, Oxbridge-style tutorials and trips to Oxford and Cambridge.

Former Trinity student Sarah Lusack worked at Rare, which has provided this mentoring programme since 2012. She also welcomed this broadening of the initiative to include Year 10 students, and commented on the importance of reaching students earlier.

“Younger black students will now have the opportunity to have earlier access to the right information, guidance and support to make informed choices about their futures. Don’t think twice about applying! This programme could be the start of a very exciting journey.”

Target Oxbridge has supported more than 200 successful Oxbridge applicants since launching In 2020, 74 Target Oxbridge alumni started their studies at Oxford and Cambridge.

A Target Oxbridge Alumna who is currently studying at Cambridge and served as BME officer at her college said: “Speaking to current Black Cambridge students for the first time in Year 12 was really inspiring and demystified a lot of the preconceptions I had about Cambridge.

“I am so excited about the new programme for Year 10 students because it’s an opportunity to nurture aspirations from an even earlier stage and I think this will contribute to increasing representation of Black students at Cambridge in the future.”

Feature Image Credit: Rafa Esteve via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons license), Target Oxbridge