A group of young people from the LMH foundation year gather on some steps in the gardens

The College held a graduation celebration for the final LMH Foundation Year students on Saturday 17th June. The celebration was hosted by Principal Stephen Blyth, and former Principal Alan Rusbridger presented the certificates to Foundation Year graduates Mai Kheir and Michael Greener (centre front in photo above). He and former members of the LMH Foundation Year team, as well as a number of previous LMH Foundation Year graduates, were welcome guests.

Both of this year’s graduates passed the LMH Foundation Year with Distinction, and they will take up their Oxford places as English undergraduates at LMH in the autumn.

The graduation day was an opportunity not only to celebrate this year’s graduates, but to mark the transition moment of the LMH Foundation Year programme, initially launched in 2016 as a four-year pilot project to equalise access to the University of Oxford for students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The University’s Astrophoria Foundation Year Programme, led by Dr Jo Begbie, who directed the LMH programme, will carry on the work started at LMH.

In establishing the Foundation Year, LMH recognised that many students had the potential to study at Oxford who may have been unable to achieve the necessary grades due to personal circumstances. It was the first project of its kind at Oxford or Cambridge, and was based on Trinity College Dublin’s (TCD) Trinity Access Programme.

Since the LMH Foundation Year started in 2016, a total of 64 students have joined us on the programme, with 49 of those going on to matriculate at Oxford and many others going on to study at Russell Group universities. Some have gone on to further study, including one who completed a Masters at Harvard, and three students who have secured fully-funded PhD places in the UK.

Inspired by the success of LMH’s Foundation Year, both Oxford and Cambridge have launched their own foundation year programmes. The University of Cambridge launched the Cambridge Foundation Year in 2021 and welcomed its first intake in 2022.

The University of Oxford’s Astrophoria Foundation Year will welcome its first cohort of around 35 students this autumn. Astrophoria students will live and study at LMH and nine other colleges: Exeter, Jesus, Keble, Mansfield, Somerville, St Anne’s, St Hugh’s, Trinity, and Wadham.

We are very proud that our pioneering Foundation Year programme has paved the way for larger university-wide schemes that will help even more talented young people reach their full potential.

Mai, a young black woman with medium length curly hair wearing a blue dress and Michael, a young white man with short dark hair wearing dark clothes
A group of people in a theatre for a graduation ceremony