Last Tuesday we set off to visit Oxford for their Open Day on the Wednesday where three students and one staff member stayed overnight at Exeter College (founded in 1314) and five students and one staff member at Lincoln College (founded in 1427). It was a real privilege to be staying in these ancient buildings which are only minutes from the centre of Oxford. Both colleges provided an excellent programme which included a tour of the accommodation and facilities. At Lincoln College It was good to catch up with Matt (PPE) and Dan (Maths) who had visited Franklin last September with Claire the Admissions Officer. Current undergraduate helpers (including Matt and Dan) helped to entertain our students during the evening which they thoroughly enjoyed.
Subject specific sessions had been arranged so our students were able to question academics about their subject. There was also plenty of opportunity to talk to current undergraduates. The afternoon allowed free time to wander around Oxford soaking up the atmosphere and exploring other colleges.
This week we set off once again on Wednesday afternoon and made our way to Robinson College in Cambridge where we had overnight accommodation arranged. Robinson College is the newest of the Cambridge Colleges and was built in 1977. This was a great contrast to the ancient buildings we had stayed in in Oxford. After dropping our bags in our rooms we had chance to wander around this fantastic city and take in some of the inspiring buildings. We then had a meal in a local restaurant before heading back to the College for the night. Robinson College had a packed programme of events which included a mock interview which our students found especially helpful. It dispelled some of the myths that abound about Oxbridge interviews. The afternoon was again free for the students to explore some of the other colleges in Cambridge and to visit the individual departments. The students all agreed that it was a fantastic experience which has given them a real insight into what it would be like to study at a world class university.