How do we do it?
Mansfield began access work before many other colleges and universities. The Access to Excellence campaign saw Mansfield quietly but consistently working to raise awareness of Oxford, and encourage students to apply who may have previously believed Oxford was ‘not for them’. As a result, we have acquired expertise in recognising aptitude from those who may or may not yet have been educated to achieve their full potential.
This is work which has been undertaken by senior tutors and access officers in conjunction with the academic fellowship and students, working together, over two decades. We have an enthusiastic team of Student Ambassadors who work with College to encourage students to get to know us - in their schools, online, or in access visits.
Access is now built into the ethos of the college. Our academics and students are committed to making Mansfield welcoming, inclusive and fair. And it's a virtuous circle – students see people like them attending Oxford and are encouraged to apply.
A three-step process:
First, we set out to change minds by raising awareness of Mansfield and persuading people who might not have considered applying to Oxford University that it could be for them.
Our academics are open-minded, committed to access, and good at spotting potential: we accept students that have proven themselves to be excellent perhaps in spite of their backgrounds or experiences to date. We look at the whole applicant, using rich contextual data along with current academic achievement to identify potential.
Mansfield looks at all the contextual information available – including whether a school is selective or non-selective; progression rates to higher education; the neighbourhood in which it is based and the proportion of pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium (‘free school meals’) to contextualise school results, and to find students with the greatest potential from as broad a pool as possible of talented applicants.
We offer a world-class education to students during their Mansfield years, enabling students to achieve, launching lives and careers.