Trinity College has introduced a new Teacher Visitor Scheme to improve accessibility to Cambridge, acknowledging the importance of the teacher’s role in the application process.
The scheme is open to teachers from both the private and maintained sectors, and allows them to apply for either a half term residential (up to one week during the half-term break) or a summer term residential (two to four weeks during the summer term). Trinity College will offer up to four places for Teacher Visitors each year, with the programme including meetings with Admissions staff, being mentored by a member of Trinity’s teaching fellowship, and the opportunity to work with academics from their relevant subject area.
While students often choose not to apply to Oxbridge because of their anxieties about the universities’ stereotypes and reputation, it is sometimes discouragement from their teachers that also contribute to the lack of application. The Sutton Trust published findings last year that showed 40 per cent of state secondary school teachers rarely or never advised their best students to apply to the universities, although Cambridge’s proportion of state school students has improved from 54 per cent to 62 per cent in the last decade.
The scheme is thus intended to improve the transparency of the admissions process, allowing Sixth Form teachers a better grasp of what Cambridge really is like, and what the university is looking for in prospective students. It will also allow admissions staff at the college to better understand the current challenges and mechanisms of the A-level system, particularly with the new removal of the AS Levels.
Trinity’s website states, “Trinity College is committed to working with schools in the UK, locally, regionally and nationally to raise aspirations and educational attainment among their pupils, and to widen participation in higher education.”
Source: The Telegraph