Encouraging Aspiration

New College is committed to welcoming the brightest young people to study in Oxford. We run a series of access and outreach programmes designed to encourage and support prospective students from all backgrounds with the intellectual potential to thrive here.


New College's Step-Up programme inspires and supports state-school students throughout Years 11, 12 and 13. It attempts to ensure that students recognise Oxford as a realistic and achievable option for them in the future, and are fully equipped to make a competitive application. 

Crucially, it is a sustained-contact scheme. Students have regular, consistent contact with the College's Outreach team over three years. It is free for all the schools and young people involved.

We are currently working with 37 schools across the UK and are actively expanding the programme.

“It was great hearing from people who have been through the same process we would have to go through, but it was also comforting for me to hear that even at the world’s top university, there is still time to attend fun events and societies that are both set up by the University and the students.” Step-Up participant

“I never knew a lot about the University, only that I believed it was for very intelligent people who naturally knew it all, but the truth is anyone can go if you work hard and really want it. For me this really opened my eyes and inspired me to really work hard.” Step-Up participant

“As a Step-Up Ambassador, I have seen the difference that this programme has on state school students across the country. Lots of the brilliant students that I’ve met were unsure of how they’d fit in or how to begin such a daunting application process. This programme provides young people with the information and confidence to believe that they, too, can find their place in Oxford.” Ei Lwin, 2nd year medical student

Oxford for Wales

Students from Wales are under-represented at Oxford, and we are seeking to change that through Oxford Cymru. This extensive community outreach programme offers bespoke and local support to students, their families and teachers. We have ambitious goals to reach the areas of Wales with the lowest application rates, working alongside the Welsh government and two other Oxford colleges.

“I believe strongly that such a privilege should be available as widely as possible to students of all backgrounds who have the intellectual potential to thrive in Oxford. This is not only a matter of fairness and of promoting equality of opportunity. I also think that making the possibility of coming to New College real for under-represented groups is vital to New College’s continued success as an academic institution.” Jonathan Fowles, 1998

Donate to Access and Outreach

Step-Up, Oxford for Wales and all our other outreach activities are free for the young people and schools who take part. This is only made possible by the outstanding generosity of our Old Members, alongside a serious financial commitment from the College itself. There are opportunities to support the activities in a range of ways, from a monthly gift, to sponsoring a student ambassador, to funding a school’s participation in Step-Up.

To make a donation, please visit our giving pages.

If you have any questions about making a gift, please contact Millie at millie.papworth@new.ox.ac.uk.

Read more about the programmes on the dedicated section of the website.