provides 16 – 18 year old black African and Caribbean students with positive role models and practical advice. The development programme runs over the course of a year and involves residential visits and academic sessions. When they visit Cambridge, participants will have an immersive experience of life at the university, including taking part in tutorials and meeting both staff and current students.
Since 2012, 46 Target Oxbridge students have already gone on to receive offers from the two universities. Eleven former participants are currently studying at Cambridge and have welcomed the new sponsorship.
The University’s support, alongside Oxford’s, will help Target Oxbridge to expand its places from 45 to 60 in 2018, double the number available in 2016. The programme is run by Rare, a specialist diversity recruitment company, and its patron is Cambridge alumna, Zadie Smith, who has previously said:
“Going to Cambridge changed my life. Nothing I have done would have been possible without it. I want more people from backgrounds like mine to have that life-changing experience. That's what Target Oxbridge is about”.
Jon Beard, Cambridge’s Head of Undergraduate Recruitment, said:
“We’re delighted to be strengthening our relationship with Rare through our sponsorship of Target Oxbridge, and look forward to welcoming to Cambridge more of the high-achieving aspirational black students that the programme supports. The University and the Colleges are committed to widening participation by raising aspirations and attainment. Working with partners including the Sutton Trust, The Brilliant Club and Target Oxbridge is an important part of our approach.”
Fopé Jegede, an English student at Homerton College, said:
“Target Oxbridge helped to dispel the myths and preconceived notions I had about Cambridge and I genuinely don’t think I would have applied without the encouragement and support offered by the programme. Applying to Oxbridge is a very daunting process but studying at this university is such a unique experience. Already, my academic and personal growth during my time here has been incredible. Potential applicants should rest assured that it truly is your intellectual curiosity and potential that matters most - regardless of your social, economic or ethnic background. You do and will belong.”
Daniel Oluboyede, a Medic at Downing College, said:
“This is exciting news and a clear message that Cambridge aims to be more inclusive. Target Oxbridge was undoubtedly a major factor in getting me to Cambridge. They not only made me more confident for the application process but somehow made it an enjoyable experience too! I am confident that this partnership will make a tangible difference because of the real impact that Target Oxbridge makes in developing Afro-Caribbean students from typically less privileged backgrounds to become impressive Oxbridge Candidates.”
Imani McEwen, a Modern Languages student at Clare College, and currently on her Year Abroad in the Canary Islands, said:
“I’m absolutely thrilled. The partnership will enable lots of bright potential applicants to see that this is a place for them. When applying, Target Oxbridge certainly helped to prepare me for Cambridge life. The mentoring taught me how to engage with what I was reading and then confidently have an academic discussion about it. This was key during the interview and still is during supervisions. Definitely apply to Cambridge, your race should never discourage you because it's your ability that counts.”
Bez Adeosun, a Politics and Anthropology student at Clare College, said:
“Without Target Oxbridge, I may not have received my Cambridge offer. Their help ranged from personal statement advice, mock interviews and simply just being in contact with current students at the university. All this helped make a process that seemed so surreal to me, seem real and achievable. I would definitely encourage students to consider applying for this program as they really do care about helping young talented students get into prestigious institutions like Oxford and Cambridge.”
Michael Harvey, an Engineering student at Homerton College, said:
"Coming from a background in which you weren't expected to study at a place like Cambridge and then making it here gives a constant feeling of accomplishment. To know that you're working among some of the best thinkers of the future, to know you're at that level and to be encouraged to push even further is great. Once you're here the sky is really the limit, anything is achievable. It may seem a daunting task to get in from the outside, but anyone with the right attitude can achieve and excel here. My advice for people thinking of applying would be to put in the work because the rewards are more than worth it."
Timi Sotire, a Human, Social and Political Sciences student at Girton College, said:
"I felt very insecure and worried about applying. Being a part of the Target Oxbridge programme gave me the confidence to fully realise that I am good enough to be at a prestigious university such as this, I don’t know what I would have done without their constant support and mentoring. I hope that this partnership will encourage more people to have the confidence to apply.”