As our second cohort settle into life at LMH, we look forward to meeting applicants for 2018/19

The second cohort of LMH Foundation Year students are here, and in the weeks since their arrival have begun to call LMH home.

The group of 11 was chosen from around 130 applicants around the country: there is real competition for places. We considered applications from young people who could demonstrate they came from under-represented groups measured by financial, social or cultural indicators.

The group arrived a week before other new undergraduates to give them a little time to familiarise themselves with the college and Oxford and also to get to know each other.

They are, like the first year, a diverse and exceptional bunch of young people who have demonstrated a real thirst for learning. The references from their teachers speak of students who are motivated, dedicated, sharp, analytical and motivated. I have been teaching the group and, after four sessions, I can second all of the above.

They achieved good grades at GCSE and A level, but not of a level which would have secured a place at Oxford in the normal way. The Foundation Year is there to bridge the gap between their potential and attainment to date.

Tutors read CVs with care to see what kind of obstacles a candidate has run into. There may be home circumstances which have been difficult. Here’s one who attended a school in special measures . Here’s another who did not arrive in this country until the age of 15 - as a refugee and speaking little English. He found a school at 16 and achieved ABB two years later. These are exceptional achievements.

Young people may have spent much of their lives in care. Three of them effectively had to make their own arrangements to find the tuition they wanted.

Once you have delved into their backgrounds in this way you begin to understand the resilience, determination and potential that lies within them.

The cohort comes from far and wide - East London, Preston, Berwick, Chester, Kettering, Swindon, Kabul (via Uxbridge), Torquay, and beyond. Their average household income, including benefits, is around £20,000 - less, if you include those who have been in care.

But, once they arrive in Oxford, we don’t think of their backgrounds, we think of their futures.

Once again, we thank the alumni who have made this scheme possible. This year’s cohort has been funded by Michael O’Sullivan, President and Chief Operation Officer at Ross Stores, which is headquartered in San Francisco.

Michael, originally from Reading, studied PPE at LMH in the mid-1980s, and comes from a second-generation Irish migrant background. We’re immensely grateful to him for his extraordinary generosity in funding the second year of the ground-breaking project.


Applications Open for the third Foundation Year

Today, we open applications for the third Foundation Year, for entry in the academic year 2018/19.

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