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24th September 2020

Exeter Plus bridging programme under way

An introductory session for the Exeter Plus programme

Tutor for Undergraduate Admissions Conall Mac Niocaill welcomes students to the Exeter Plus programme

The 2020 Exeter Plus bridging programme is under way. On 21 September the College welcomed 17 students to take part in the programme, which this year will run for two weeks. The residential programme aims to provide a transition from secondary school to independent learning by teaching study skills and providing academic challenges.

A pilot version of the programme ran in 2019 with great success. Ella Wilczyk (2019, Biochemistry) was one of eight students who took part in the pilot. She says: ‘The aim of the course was to successfully write an essay and present it to the rest of the group at the end of the week in a tutorial-style setting. … We had a mixture of ‘taught’ sessions and independent work, including a mock tutorial and a meeting with the College’s Royal Literary Fund Fellow to discuss our essays. The programme was set up to be similar to a typical week during term, including our first real experience of Hall food, as well as our first meeting with the Rector, which was an interesting discussion of the history of the College over dinner.

‘Overall, Exeter Plus was an educational and eye-opening experience of College life, and as someone who hadn’t written an essay in years and had struggled to speak articulately in front of people, I found that it definitely boosted my confidence and relieved some of the anxiety of starting university.’

Victor Popoola (2019, Medicine) was another student who took part in the pilot Exeter Plus programme. He says: ‘Despite my initial fears, I was made to feel at home. Everyone, from the porters to the professors, was incredibly kind and allowed me to understand that, at Oxford, everyone is rooting for you.

‘The lectures were on critical writing, reading, thinking and presentation skills. These lectures, in conjunction with an essay assignment and short presentation we had to produce, were designed to put us in the best possible position for the start of our course.

‘The programme did so much to ease the transition from sixth form to university – a transition which can all too often be a daunting one.’

We look forward to sharing a report on the 2020 Exeter Plus programme after it concludes.

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