A partnership between the University of Derby and Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford, is bringing young scholars in Derby together online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Derby Scholars Programme, part-funded by the Derby Opportunity Area and co-delivered by staff and academics at both universities, was launched earlier this year. Its aim is to address the low number of Derby city young people making applications to Oxbridge.
The vision, initially conceived by the University of Derby’s Widening Access team, was to create a community of young scholars across Derby who inspire each other, set high ambitions for themselves, and map effective pathways to achieve their goals.
Before lockdown measures were introduced, the programme had begun to provide a range of activities on site at the University of Derby.
The programme is now being offered through interactive online sessions, including academic skills sessions with University of Derby Library staff and application support sessions from University of Oxford staff.
Pupils will also be able to take part in a virtual visit to Corpus Christi College, with on-campus visits to both universities possible post-lockdown.
Krisha Bainham, Head of Widening Access at the University of Derby, said:
The Derby Scholars Programme was developed to address the barriers, both real and perceived, which may prevent very able young people in the city from achieving everything they are capable of and accessing opportunities.
By participating in the programme all learners will develop the knowledge to make an informed choice about their future direction and the skills to give themselves the best chance to achieve their ambitions. The lockdown may have changed how we deliver activities but it has not dampened the enthusiasm of our Derby Scholars, who are actively engaged in the online sessions.