In 2013, 529 black students in the UK got 3 As at A-level throughout the UK. This statistic is shocking – and rightly so. This is just one of many statistics that demonstrate the array of issues faced by students of African/Caribbean descent. At Oxford ACS we are always thinking about how we can add value to our community and it became very clear that Access and Outreach would have to be at the centre of that.
No student should feel limited by their social, economic and/or racial background. Although we fully appreciate the efforts of the various schemes, and often work in collaboration such as Oxford University Admissions and Outreach), we also believe the subtleties of issues affecting the African/Caribbean student community can often be overlooked. As a result we feel that we have a responsibility to engage with the future generation of African/Caribbean students and support them as they develop. Thus Access and Outreach was quickly integrated into the ACS framework.
WHAT’S THE GOAL?
ACS Access schemes aims to use our specific experiences to help build a confident, self-aware and independent generation of young students of African and Caribbean heritage, who feel confidently equipped to shape their own lives in any direction they desire.
HOW DO WE DO IT?
We work in conjunction with a number of brilliant organisations: such as Oxford University Admissions and Outreach Department, Oxford University Student Union and UK wide charity Teach First to engage with young students of African and Caribbean descent from a variety of angles.
Our Access Initiatives aim to add value by:
- Providing young students of African/Caribbean heritage with role models that are relatable and relevant to their experiences.
- Creating a comfortable and productive environment in which the black student experience can be easily discussed.
- Using our personal insights into the issues affecting our community to offer meaningful advice, guidance, and tools having come from similar backgrounds and experiences.
- Debunking misconceptions that can act as barriers in the work of access, and target the causes (rather than symptoms) of issues affecting young African and Caribbean students