Trinity has launched an Outreach Hub for prospective students, parents and teachers to find out more about Cambridge and life at Trinity. As well as plenty of new interactive content, students can chat to Trinity undergraduates via the innovative UniBuddy platform.
Second-year undergraduate Harry Derbyshire is enthusiastic about engaging with students – and sees great potential in the Outreach Hub for widening access.
It’s especially useful for Trinity because there’s a lot to demystify. Trinity can seem an intimidating place – for me it was only through an open day and meeting current students that I was able to see myself as a prospective Trinity student. Now we can chat online, which is going to make all the difference.
Harry, who is studying Classics, is one of 10 Trinity Ambassadors who’ve signed up to answer queries and chat to students via Unibuddy, a secure platform that is moderated and complies with safeguarding protocols and data protection regulations.
We know that applying to Cambridge can be a daunting prospect for many under-represented students. Students with little or no family history of higher education or those from areas of the UK where few students go to university can have misconceptions around the university experience, which need to be addressed.
Unibuddy has been designed for prospective applicants and their need for peer-to-peer interaction with those who have been through the application process at Cambridge and succeeded.
Research found that 89% of students reported feeling more confident about their university choice after using UniBuddy.
Trinity students will upload blogs and video content to the Outreach Hub thus providing fresh content regularly. Mr Datta said: ‘The Outreach Hub has lots of easy-to-digest information, great videos and full details of our access events. We are very excited to launch it.’
The Hub builds on Trinity’s varied range of access events and residential stays. While some elements of the programme have been on hold due to the pandemic, hosting events online has enabled a greater number of students to participate than previously.
Mr Datta said: ‘By providing a realistic picture of Cambridge student life and accurate information about all steps in the application process, the Outreach Hub will help students make informed decisions about their academic careers.’
For Harry, taking part in Trinity’s outreach work is a rewarding part of her Cambridge experience. Trinity Ambassadors on the Outreach Hub study a range of subjects, from History, Maths and Engineering to Classics and Theology.
Harry’s keen to dispel myths about Classics. She said:
Access to university, particularly access to studying Classics/the Ancient World in higher education is something that I’m very passionate about. It’s possible to apply to study Classics without having learnt Latin and Greek, and I’d really like to encourage more people to apply, especially if they’ve not done Classics in any form before at school.
First-year Engineering student Akira Nguyen is also enthusiastic about sharing her experience of coming from an East London state school to Trinity. She said:
Coming from immigrant parents with only primary level education, I am the first in my family to go to university. This made the entire application process rather daunting but rather than having help from family, I found help from current students to be extremely useful and eased my nerves about applying. Thus I’m happy to have the opportunity to be on the other side and provide any help I can.