Resources for Under-Represented Ethnic Groups

This page relates to prospective applicants from under-represented ethnic groups. The resources include relevant application support schemes, scholarship programmes, and international societies.

We recognize that there are more under-represented ethnic groups than those listed below. The following links relate to resources and opportunities we are currently aware of; this page will be continually updated.

Resources for Black Students

EXPERIENCES AND ADVICE FROM BLACK STUDENTS

Q&A with Black students from Oxford and Cambridge πŸ”— 🌟 InsideUni recently hosted a Q&A with Black students from both universities, including current students and recent graduates. The panellists answered a variety of questions about encouraging Black students to apply, and ensuring access work continues after the admissions process.

Target Oxbridge podcast πŸ”— 🌟 This podcast features interviews with students with Black African and Caribbean heritage, who previously participated in the Target Oxbridge programme. They discuss their experiences and advice for future applicants.

Taking Up Space πŸ”— Written by Cambridge graduates Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi, this book and accompanying website features honest conversations with past and present students to explore what β€˜inclusion’ and β€˜diversity’ truly mean for young Black women. In particular, check out the reading lists πŸ”— 🌟 they have compiled for each subject, focusing on decolonising university curricula and promoting the works of Black authors. This interview with the author πŸ”— explains some of the book’s aims further.

β€˜What is it like to be a Black student at Cambridge?’ video πŸ”— 🌟 Student YouTuber Courtney Daniella talks candidly to other students about their experiences at Cambridge, including discussions about workloads, extracurriculars and diversity.

APPLICATION SUPPORT SCHEMES

Target Oxbridge scheme πŸ”— 🌟 This free programme aims to help students with Black African and Caribbean heritage increase their chances of being offered a place at Oxford or Cambridge. The programme includes a tailored series of critical theory discussions; one-to-one mentoring; structured interview preparation sessions; and visits to both universities.

Click Cambridge: Year 10 students πŸ”— A new online programme for 2020/21 run by a group of Cambridge colleges, which aims to equip students with the information and skills needed to apply to selective universities. Each month, there will be a webinar on a different topic, addressing various aspects of university applications and the student experience.

Generating Genius: Uni Genius πŸ”— 🌟 An initiative aimed at Year 12 STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Maths) students from Black African or Caribbean backgrounds. The programme provides STEM-specific skills workshops, mentoring, careers and university advice, and work experience opportunities.

The Amos Bursary πŸ”— A programme that supports young Black men in their academic and professional development. The initiative provides mentoring, support from a number of affiliated firms, and a personal development programme.

FUNDING AND SCHOLARSHIPS

Stormzy Scholarship πŸ”— Every year, Stormzy offers two scholarships to Black UK students who have a confirmed place at Cambridge. The funding, which doesn't have to be repaid, covers the full cost of tuition fees and provides a yearly maintenance grant for the duration of the students' course.

Oxford-Arlan Hamilton & Earline Butler Sims Scholarship: Oxford πŸ”— Launched for 2020 entry, the scholarship is available to UK undergraduates of Black African and Caribbean heritage who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

STUDENT SOCIETIES

Cambridge African Caribbean Society πŸ”— Open to every student of African and Caribbean descent, and those interested in learning about African and Caribbean culture. CUACS prides themselves on their commitment to education, empowerment and entertainment, as well as providing a friendly community for members.

Oxford African Caribbean Society πŸ”— OxACS runs numerous initiatives to support prospective applicants, including a mentorship scheme and annual admissions workshops. Feel free to contact them on [email protected] to learn more about these opportunities, or their Facebook page πŸ”—.

Black Cantabs project πŸ”— This project, run by current students and alumni, aims to uncover and preserve the legacies of Black alumni. They aim to celebrate and normalize diversity, while creating a strong community of past and present students.

Resources for Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Arab Students

APPLICATION SUPPORT SCHEMES

CamSpire BPA scheme πŸ”— 🌟 A new initiative run by Cambridge University Students' Union (CUSU), offering Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Arab (BPA) students the chance to experience student life at Cambridge. The programme includes online mentoring with current BPA students; an interview workshop; and a free residential event.

Click Cambridge: Year 12 students πŸ”— A new online programme for 2020/21 run by a group of Cambridge colleges, which aims to equip students with the information and skills needed to apply to selective universities. Each month, there will be a webinar on a different topic, addressing various aspects of university applications and the student experience.

STUDENT SOCIETIES

CU BanglaSoc πŸ”— β€˜One of BanglaSoc’s biggest aim is to help freshers settle into their new lifestyle at University. Often many of our members come from households where they are the first to move out and this can be for some a daunting prospect. Through hosting a range of social events BanglaSoc has helped many of our members ease into the transition of moving away from home.’

Oxford University Bangladeshi Society πŸ”— β€˜OUBS represents our homeland Bangladesh through culture and heritage to create awareness among the community.’

Cambridge Pakistan Society πŸ”— β€˜A social platform for Pakistani (and plenty of non-Pakistani) students to meet up and have an amazing time.’

Oxford Pakistan Society πŸ”— β€˜From those who have lived their whole lives in Pakistan to those who are just interested in finding out more about Pakistani culture, our society is a dynamic, exciting and welcoming space.’

Cambridge University Arab Society πŸ”— β€˜A cultural, non-political university society aimed at bringing together Arab and non-Arab students at the university and to give an insight into Arab culture, traditions, history, and to discuss Arab affairs.’

Oxford University Arab Society πŸ”— β€˜A student society run by Oxford students for people interested in the culture and politics of the Arab world.’

Resources for All Students from Under-Represented Ethnic Groups

EXPERIENCES AND ADVICE FROM STUDENTS

Blog post by an Oxford fresher πŸ”— Franceska talks about her experience of adapting to Oxford life coming from an ethnic minority and low socio-economic background.

'Our BME experience at Oxford' πŸ”— Oxford students Mani and Vee talk about their experiences of applying to and studying at Oxford, including the fears they had before applying, and the societies they enjoyed participating in.

β€˜Experiences of BME students at Cambridge’ video πŸ”— 🌟 This video, produced by the University, interviews students about their experiences of Cambridge. They discuss their perceptions of the university before applying, and how this differs to their actual experiences.

Blog post by a Cambridge alumna πŸ”— A great article summarising why students should apply to Cambridge, regardless of their ethnic background, drawing on the writer’s own experience.

β€˜BME women in STEM’ panel πŸ”— The transcript of a panel discussion held by Cambridge Association for Women in Science and Engineering about women from a range of under-represented ethnic groups working in or studying Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) at Cambridge.

APPLICATION SCHEMES AND SUPPORT

aim Cambridge πŸ”— 🌟 aim is an access initiative led by students at the University of Cambridge targeted at inspiring students from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds to apply confidently to the University knowing that Cambridge is a place with people like them. aim hopes to do this by creating a website that collates the different experiences of students from under-represented ethnic backgrounds in a way that is accessible to any prospective student. In addition, there will be an ongoing social media campaign with student takeovers and live videos from society events across the University.

SEO London πŸ”— SEO London predominantly focuses on preparing talented students from ethnic minority or low socioeconomic backgrounds for career success, but they also have a schools programme that supports Year 11-13 students applying to university.

Many colleges host open days specifically for students from under-represented ethnic groups, typically featuring workshops and tours run by current students from these backgrounds. This page will be updated when new events are announced. For an example of what the events may involve, take a look at the recent King’s College, Cambridge BME open day πŸ”— and Catz and Queens' Cambridge BME Q&A Sessions πŸ”— Both events were run online this year, including Q&As with admissions tutors; virtual college tours; and panels for sciences and humanities students.

STUDENT SOCIETIES

Oxford Students’ Union: Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality πŸ”— 🌟 Aiming to improve the Oxford experience by building a community, celebrating racial diversity, and inspiring change.

CUSU BME campaign πŸ”— 🌟 On a university-wide scale, the Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) runs a BME campaign to voice the concerns of and improve the educational and social environment for ethnic minority students. They host events including intercollegiate quiz nights and discussion panels.

For the upcoming academic year, the Cambridge University Student Union (CUSU) BME campaign are launching a new academic mentorship programme for incoming students. If they wish, first-year students will be matched with an older student studying the same subject, who they will be able to turn to for academic advice.

Every college in Oxford and Cambridge elects a student representative as part of their college students’ union (more commonly known as the JCR), usually referred to as the BME officer, ethnic minorities officer, or equality and diversity officer. These students work to promote and address representation within the college community, including organising taster days for potential applicants; running social events for students; and ensuring religious provisions are in place.

CUSU international societies πŸ”— This list contains all the international societies existing in Cambridge, from East Africa to Southeast Asia!

FLY Cambridge πŸ”— 🌟 A network for female and non-binary people of colour at Cambridge. They host weekly meetings and also run a blog compiled by current students. In particular, have a look at the FLY guide to Cambridge πŸ”— 🌟 which contains advice from students from a variety of subjects and backgrounds.

SOAR Cambridge πŸ”— The male counterpart to FLY, SOAR is a forum aimed at stimulating intellectual discussion within the Cambridge University network.