Above: Greg Brinkworth (left) on graduation day (photo: Stuart Bebb)
A student who attended Balliol’s Floreat access programme has graduated from Balliol with a first-class degree.
Now in its sixth year, the Floreat access programme is a year-long academic programme for year 12 students from state schools in Hertfordshire. The programme offers the opportunity to engage with Oxford-style humanities teaching, through a series of academic seminars led by Oxford University representatives and at a residential summer school at Balliol.
Greg Brinkworth (2016) attended the first Floreat in 2014/2015 and won a place to study History at Balliol the following year. This summer (2019) he graduated with a first-class honours degree.
‘In all likelihood, I would not have applied to Oxford, let alone Balliol,’ he said, ‘had I not taken part in the Floreat access scheme. The programme allowed me to meet similar people from local schools, helping me to grow in confidence both academically and socially, and helped me to realise that applying to Oxford would be the best thing I could possibly do to pursue my love of History.’
This week we welcome to Balliol 25 school students who have arrived for the residential part of the 2018/2019 Floreat programme. Each has written an essay beforehand, in preparation for the tutorial they will have while they are here. They will also attend individual sessions on writing a personal statement for their university application. Supported by the outreach team and a recently graduated Balliol student, they will also have opportunities to go to the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers Museums, learn more about the admissions process, and participate in a workshop with Balliol’s Librarians, exploring Balliol’s unique collection of medieval manuscripts.
Last year (2017/2018) out of 40 Floreat participants, 30 applied to Oxbridge, of which 12 received offers, and the rest applied to Russell Group universities.
With further alumni support we are hoping to expand Floreat and run a STEM-oriented counterpart to the current humanities programme in the near future. If you are interested in supporting our Access and Outreach activities, please go to this page or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos above and below by Stuart Bebb.
Below: Pravahi Osman (Outreach Officer, right) helps a Floreat student with her personal statement.
Below: medieval manuscripts workshop at Balliol’s Historic Collections Centre with Library and Outreach staff.