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Access and Outreach: Spring 2023

This article is written by the Admissions Tutor for Science, Dr Scott Annett, who works within the Admissions Team to help oversee the admissions round each year, as well as assisting with the College’s widening participation and outreach activities. Any queries about widening participation should be directed to . For a comprehensive overview of this year’s outreach and admissions events, please see the College website.

The Robinson Admissions Office was as busy as ever throughout Lent term and the Easter vacation, organising a diverse range of widening participation and outreach activities both virtually and in college. We enjoyed meeting over 100 of our current Offer Holders at the beginning of Lent term, in a virtual meeting that included the Warden, the Admissions Tutor for Arts (Dr Emily Price), current RCSA members, and undergraduates representing a variety of subjects. Over the following month, 40 of those Offer Holders took the opportunity to visit Robinson in-person as part of a series of tours led by student ambassadors and the Schools Liaison Officer, Ruth Moss.

Turning from Offer Holders to prospective applicants, we held our March Q&A, again online, with 30 prospective applicants meeting undergraduate students and the Admissions Tutor for Science (Dr Scott Annett). This online event complemented a series of webinars organised for teachers, young people, and parents in our Link Areas of Swindon, Wiltshire, and Gloucestershire. These were hosted in collaboration with Merton College (Oxford), alongside other collegiate colleagues who work with the wider South West of England.

The Robinson Access Programme, for both Year 11 and Year 12 students, was launched in March, alongside a welcome event for our incoming Pegasus Scholars. The Access Programme is targeted at young people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds and is intended to support their academic development while also providing further information about selective Higher Education and the university application process.

Following a very successful pilot programme, the Pegasus Scholars scheme, which is directed by our Tutor for Widening Participation (Dr Lizzi Rawlinson-Mills), aims to ensure that life at Robinson is accessible and enjoyable for incoming students from the widest variety of backgrounds. The programme itself takes place in September, with a residential week in College bracketed by two weeks of online learning.

February and March saw our Schools Liaison Officer visit schools in our Link Areas in both the South West and Wandsworth. In Wandsworth, she spoke with 150 students across three schools, followed by a trip to the Southwest in March, which involved workshops and presentations in 15 schools to nearly 500 young people. Dr Rawlinson-Mills, Dr Price, Ruth Moss and the RCSA President, Karolina Rawdanowicz (English) also hosted the annual Dr CP Hughes Teachers’ Conference in Gloucestershire. This event provided us with an opportunity to answer questions about the admissions process and to present a mock interview to teachers from partner schools.

Toward the end of the Easter vacation the College welcomed 50 Year 11 and Year 12 students to the College for the Women in Science Festival. Taster lectures, talks and workshop sessions were delivered by members of Robinson’s science community, alongside trips to science departments and museums across Cambridge. Finally, we were very pleased to launch our new STEP residential programme, which included five of our Mathematics Offer Holders from widening participation backgrounds, and which is intended to support them as they prepare to take the STEP examinations at the end of the academic year.

In July, we will be running our Summer Subject Residentials for both Arts and Science subjects, as well as the second year of our collaborative law residential with Slaughter and May, in the midst of which we look forward to welcoming a large number of visitors for the July Open Days. If you have any questions about our events, or the admissions process more broadly speaking, please contact