The names of twelve young people chosen to take part in a unique week-long programme of tutorials and seminars at Exeter College, Oxford, have been announced.
The enthusiasm of the pupils for the project has been infectious.
Applicants undertook a rigorous series of assessments with the successful 12 invited to participate in the week-long event from Sunday 23 to Friday 28 June. All places are fully-funded including travel, accommodation and meals. The participants are:
• Abigail Sheridan and Jessica Walker (Dunbar Grammar School)
• Reuben Phoenix-Hill and Kaci Smith (Knox Academy)
• Amelia Convey and Amy Hamilton (Musselburgh Grammar School)
• Thomas Jeffery and Claudia Logan (North Berwick High School)
• Georgia Hastings and Anya Martin (Ross High School)
• Sula McDonald and Lewis Miller (Preston Lodge High School).
A key element of the week is to experience Oxford’s tutorial system. Core teaching in Oxford is based around weekly conversations between a student and a tutor. Students are encouraged to explore ideas and gain new perspectives while receiving individual feedback and constructive criticism from expert tutors. The East Lothian participants will take part in seminars, tutorials and departmental visits and, over the course of the week, produce an essay on a question posed by an expert tutor.
A series of social activities have been planned to provide the young people with a broader understanding of life both on and off the university campus.
East Lothian Council’s Head of Education Fiona Robertson said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for all of the young people, giving them the chance to experience academic life at one of the country’s top universities. The successful applicants all demonstrated their ability to think analytically and creatively during a rigorous and competitive application process. I am sure they will all benefit from this unique, fully-funded programme.”
Andrew Small, a doctoral student in History at Exeter College who grew up in East Lothian has been instrumental in developing and negotiating the initiative. Andrew said: “The enthusiasm of the pupils for the project has been infectious. My hope is that this is just the beginning of a long-standing partnership between the college and East Lothian. I am delighted to have played a part in creating a link between my two homes, East Lothian and Exeter college. I would like to thank Sir Rick Trainor, Rector of the college, and Professor Conall Mac Niocaill, the tutor for admissions for their full support. Without them, this programme would have remained just an idea."
The successful applicants and their parents met at an event at the Town House in Haddington giving them an opportunity to learn more about the programme and arrangements, and to meet and socialise with one another. Additional events will be held for the participants so they can build relationships ahead of the trip.