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59 black students secure top uni places with Target Oxbridge

CELEBRATIONS: Target Oxbridge has helped 59 students secure places at Oxford and Cambridge

A RECORD number of black students have gained places at Oxford and Cambridge Universities this year with Target Oxbridge, a unique programme aimed at helping more British students of black heritage attend the UK’s two most prestigious institutions.

The programme, created and run by diversity recruitment specialist, Rare, has helped students of black African and Caribbean heritage secure 27 offers from Oxford and 32 offers from Cambridge for 2019. With the average success rate for black students applying to both universities at 19 per cent in 2017, the programme increases applicants’ chances of securing a place to 35 per cent.

Target Oxbridge aims to increase the number of British students of black African and Caribbean heritage at Oxford and Cambridge by providing talented pupils with application support and advice.

Meron Haile, who received an offer from Jesus College, Oxford, to study experimental psychology, said: “I couldn't thank [Target Oxbridge] enough for endless support and guidance, helping me through the decision-making process and going through my personal statement all the time…I'm really proud of the development I've made as a student, and I couldn't have done that without Target Oxbridge.”

The year-long programme involves visits to each university, subject sessions delivered by academics, admissions advice from experts, and mentoring by current and former Oxbridge students. Both Oxford and Cambridge also host Easter residential and summer visits during which students get a taste of living and studying at the institutions.

Just over 40 per cent of the candidates in this year’s Target Oxbridge intake are from some of the poorest postcodes in the country. Nineteen of the offer holders are from outside of London, with two from Thurrock – one of the areas that sends two or fewer students to Oxbridge each year from non-selective state schools.

Programme founder Naomi Kellman, senior manager for schools and universities, said: “I am overjoyed that so many of our Target Oxbridge students have secured offers from Oxford and Cambridge. The students and the team have worked incredibly hard this year, and it’s wonderful to see it all pay off. I am glad that we are one step closer to ending the under-representation of black British students at Oxford and Cambridge and am keen to continue expanding our work to close the gap once and for all.”

Since launching in 2012, Target Oxbridge has helped 140 Black British students to gain places at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

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