Ruth Moss is the new Schools’ Liaison Officer at Robinson. She studied History at Newnham and acted as both a CAMbassador and Newnham Outreach Ambassador during her undergraduate studies. She is from Leicester and particularly enjoys Arts and Crafts activities, including pottery. By her own admission, this enjoyment sadly doesn’t equate to skill!

It has been an unusual time to start as the new Schools’ Liaison Officer here at Robinson. When I entered the position in September, schools had only just reopened to their students, and the usual timetable of face-to-face events had been on hold since March. Yet despite the challenges faced over this period, the staff and students at Robinson have worked hard to support the College’s widening participation and outreach agenda.

In order to support all their work, I have been finalising the admissions events calendar for the coming year, considering how best to provide our usual outreach provision in a set of very unusual circumstances. Staple initiatives such as the annual Women in Science Festival will be reimagined into a digital format, as well as extending to Year 11 students for the first time. On the admissions side of events, our usual Offer Holder’s Day for pooled applicants will expand to include direct applicants, giving all offer holders the opportunity to see the College and meet its staff and students.

Alongside this will be new additions to the calendar. A partnership with Swindon City Council will involve an event organised for students in local authority care – either an in-person residential or a set of interactive webinars, while the successes of the Robinson subject masterclasses will be redirected into a new project. This will be a longer-term, more targeted programme, designed to develop the subject knowledge and academic skills of students from backgrounds with little familiarity of Higher Education.

In the more immediate term, the shift to online events has allowed for greater collaboration than ever before, and this will be a key component to a number of events planned with our link areas of Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Swindon, and Wandsworth. Interview guidance workshops will shortly take place for Year 13s, to be co-hosted alongside my Oxford counterparts for the first time, as well as joint information and guidance sessions for Year 12 students considering the universities.

This spirit of collaboration is apparent within Cambridge, too. A number of colleges have been working on the ClickCambridge scheme for Black and BPA (Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Arab) students which I am excited to support, in addition to a planned webinar series open to students across the entirety of the South-West. These are all relationships that I am keen to develop during my time at Robinson, and I am certain they will be of much use in supporting the outreach agendas of both universities, and all colleges, over the next few years.

If you would like to discuss Robinson’s outreach and widening participation work, or have any queries, please get in touch via Current undergraduates interested in learning more about access, outreach, and student ambassador work can come along to a virtual introduction webinar on Wednesday 25th November at 7pm. Sign up here to register.