How can I get involved in access work?
Tours happen all year round and are a great way to speak to prospective students about what life at Queens’ is like. Make sure that you are signed up to the access mailing list to hear about when tours are coming up that you can get involved in them.
The schools liaison officer will send out doodle polls with a bunch of different tour dates that students can sign up to take. The tours involve taking a group of students (often around 10 students and a teacher) around Queens’ for about half an hour. The idea is to share what life at Queens’ is like for students and give prospective students a chance to ask questions.
For each tour you receive a meal voucher- the most valuable form of currency in Queens’!
If you want an idea of the sort of things you could talk about on a tour check out the tour advice page by clicking on tours page link above. And if you would quite like to see a suggested route for the tour you can see that on the suggested tour page.
At the end of Michaelmas term, a group of students help out with prospective students coming for interviews. This is typically the first 2 weeks of the Christmas holidays. We show students where to go, make sure they are signed in, calm down nerves and are generally a friendly face to help them out at a stressful time. For some of the students which are staying over at Queens’ we also run a bar quiz in the evening and a chance to chat to some current students. Helping out with interviews is a relaxed and fun way to get involved in access work. Furthermore, college will provide you with a room over this time as well as 3 meal vouchers a day.
Closer to the time the access officer will send out an email to ask for student volunteers. However, if you have any questions about interviews or how helping out works please do not hesitate to contact the access officer.
Ask any student who has taken part and they will also confirm that roadshow is a lot of fun! Taking place in the first week of the Easter holidays, road show is a week of travelling around our link districts (Bradford, Kent and Havering) in a group of typically 3 students to speak at schools in the area. We speak to thousands of students and many students who ultimately end up applying would say that they were inspired by the students they heard at the road show. For many students, this may be the only time they have met someone who goes to Oxford or Cambridge and so this is such a great opportunity to share experiences and stories with them.
As part of the roadshow the groups are put up in a hotel and have a food budget too. If you want to hear more about what helping out with the roadshow is like have a look at the vlog by Film by Zeb: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eesDOlIAUrs
It can be really confusing to work out applications to university and Cambridge can be even more baffling thanks to the college system and a number of unusual courses. Open days are therefore an invaluable way for prospective students to hear about what life is like for students at Queens’ and to make the best decision for them. The open days take place over 2 days in July and thousands of students come to look around Queens’. The access team for the open days consists of around 20-25 helpers who run lots and lots of tours to show students around as well as being friendly faces to register students and answer questions.
College provides accommodation for 2 nights as well as meal vouchers for helping out and a lot of icecream which is given out on the days! What a way to spend a couple of days at the start of summer!
Any student who goes back to their old school to talk to them about life at Queens’ and applications receives a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates if they just email the schools liaison officer to let them know.
Have any other ideas for how you would like to help? We are currently looking into ways to get students to help run an essay writing competition for prospective students in Bradford which would be a great way to encourage students to think about further education and boost their confidence. It would be great to hear from any students who are keen to help out with access so if you have ideas or questions please do not hesitate to contact the JCR access officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the college schools liaison officer (email@example.com).
Everyone who is involved in access work throughout the year
is invited to the annual access lunch as a thank you.
Access myth busters
“I can only get involved in access if I am from a state school”
Not at all true! Access is about ensuring that all young people are given equal opportunities to apply and get into Cambridge. No matter your background you have a lot of expertise and help you can give. If you are from a school or background when would be seen as non-traditional Cambridge, amazing! You have so many experiences which would be invaluable to share and can act as a great role model for some of the young people the access teamwork in. If you are from a more ‘typical’ background that is great too and so brilliant that you are keen to help out- there is a lot you can offer.
“Access work is just about doing school tours”
There is so much you can get involved in. School tours are a great way to tell some of the students who visit about Cambridge and give them a real insider perspective. However, on top of this we also help at interviews to make the process as smooth as possible for all students. We also run an annual roadshow to Bradford, Kent and Havering to speak to thousands of students about going to University- it is so exciting to see young people beginning to realise their potential and all that they can achieve. We also run open days in July each year which are a really exciting way to speak to students thinking about applying. We are always looking for students to help out with all of these events.
“Meal vouchers can be used for food up to £5”
This is a common misconception that goes around Queens’. The glorious meal voucher does not actually have a price limit but can be used for anything that is one meal so depending how peckish you are feeling grab yourself a main, pudding, sides, salad…