We attended the Northern Ireland Oxford Summer School from 26th to 28th of June 2017. The aim of this scheme was to promote the university amongst students from Northern Ireland and to increase the number of applications to the university from Northern Ireland. The programme was run in St. Catherine’s College which is a relatively modern and dynamic building compared to some of the more historic areas of Oxford. This was a great opportunity for us to find out more about university life in Oxford and provided us with more detail about each of our individual courses and the requirements for entry. It proved to be very useful because we were given the chance to talk to current university students about their experiences of the application process and they provided us with crucial advice. Furthermore, we also met with admission tutors and we were able to discuss with them how we can make a competitive application. Whilst with the tutors we also engaged in many different tasks which were subject specific and designed to mimic Oxford tutorials. These tasks included mathematical problem solving, philosophical debates and applying legal definitions to different scenarios. Moreover, the tutors informed us about the interview process and the importance of wider reading in order to increase subject knowledge and demonstrate a deeper love of one’s subject.
One other memorable experience during the trip was punting, especially when one of our party (Robbie Ware) fell into the river! We stayed beyond the normal Summer School in order to see the Open Day which enabled us to view the different faculties and to ask other current students about university life at Oxford. In addition, this allowed us to compare the different colleges of Oxford and view the student accommodation. The Summer School was a great experience and one that I would recommend to any student intending to apply to an elite university.
Alex Burns Upper VI