Outreach During COVID-19

Despite the obvious barriers created by the spring lockdown and subsequent imposed restrictions to physical activities, the Outreach Office has been working hard to reach out to potential applicants at a time when access has never been so challenging.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Outreach Office initiatives included a large programme of visits to secondary schools and colleges, students attending Trinity events, and several in-house residential programmes. Students from low socio-economic households, or areas where few people progress to higher education and are the cohorts that are likely to be some of the most impacted by the current situation and the groups the University is tasked with identifying, reaching, and engaging. As a result, Outreach will be required more than ever to ensure that students with potential are able to progress to higher education irrespective of their backgrounds. Therefore, following the cancellation of all in-person events, we are supporting a transition to online alternatives.


Summer of Online Outreach 2020

Below is a summary of the main activities that took place over Summer 2020:

Women in Maths Virtual Event

Target group: Year 12 female or non-binary students studying Maths

An intensive online course was run through Zoom to introduce highly able female mathematicians to university style teaching, research and content. The participants had opportunities to present their work to research staff and fellows.

“Absolutely brilliant, liked that we saw the maths and everything was backed up by equations/evidence.”

Humanities Virtual Event

Target group: Year 12 state school students, selected on a basis of widening participation and academic criteria.

Our residential moved to a panel style discussion over Zoom with presentations from Dr Alex Freer and Dr Glen Rangwala on the Trinity College essay prizes, along with an interactive session detailing studying the humanities at Trinity and an extended q and a on student life and the application process.

“[After the webinar] I [now] absolutely adore Trinity, it is gorgeous and the accommodation seems brilliant. It is the college I feel as though could be the best for me”.

“I’d love to thank you and all of the people involved in allowing the Humanities seminars to still take place despite the current situation! Your efforts are greatly appreciated and I found them very useful.”

Virtual Law Taster Days

Target group: Year 12 state school students, selected on a basis of widening participation and academic criteria.

A comprehensive introduction to studying Law at Trinity, including taster lectures, introductions to our Law fellows, opportunities to speak with current students, and focused advice sessions breaking down the application process.

“The residential gave me a greater insight into the academic advantages of going to a prestigious University such as Cambridge. I was fascinated by the fact that there were academic fellows on the Zoom call who had written some of the Law books that I had previously read. As a result, the residential really encouraged me to apply due to the fact that I was exposed to the availability of teaching from academic legal fellows who are at the centre of world-wide research and teaching.”

“Overall as I have stated previously this event was very helpful due to the amount of insight and information provided. Additionally, this has created a very pleasant and welcoming impression, which makes me more likely to apply (previously I didn’t really consider Cambridge too much, as I was drawn more towards Oxford. But this had led to me to do some more thinking and research).”

Women in STEM virtual event

Target group: Year 12 state schooled women and non-binary people studying the sciences to A-Level or equivalent standard.

A virtual day in the life of a Cambridge undergraduate studying STEM: course overviews, mock supervisions and lectures, and the chance to speak with and ask questions to students and staff studying STEM subjects across the university.

“I liked the interactive aspects, how we could just ask if we had questions, and the variety of sessions! Like I don’t want to study Natural science, but the session was so very interesting! And I got to meet a lot of like minded people which was also cool. This was definitely worth applying for! I thought the event wouldn’t be as good due to it being held virtually but it was amazing! Each session had their own unique aspects, and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Definitely recommend, thank you!”


2020/21 Academic Year

Visits to Trinity

For many years we have hosted groups of schools and individuals at Trinity for a variety of activity. We have similar challenges to schools with social distancing and capacity of our site and buildings. We will therefore be limiting external visits to the University. We hope to still run some physical events and there may be limited opportunities for year 13 potential applicants to visit the college but, unfortunately, we will be unable to host other groups at Trinity until 2021. We have digital alternatives that will allow students to get the best impression of the college as possible.

Visits to Schools

While we know that many schools will choose not to have external visitors, if your school is able to accept visitors then we are happy to visit and present to groups of students or take part higher education (HE) events. If we cannot visit you in person then we are happy to engage digitally either live or we are creating a hub of resources that can be used. This online hub will form the basis of providing the vitally important information with those prospective students, principally for students groups that are less represented in HE, who would, under normal circumstances, be the beneficiaries of school visits. This provision will include pre-recorded videos to inform and advise prospective students, parents and teachers about general HE, Cambridge, and widening access. The videos will be recorded by a mixture of staff (Outreach, Admissions, and Academic) and students (undergraduate and post-graduate). The videos will be circulated and marketed through Outreach newsletter bulletins and mailing lists as well as through social media.