What is the OMS?

Insight Outreach's OMS aims to:

How OMS works

Who is OMS for?

The Oxbridge Mentoring Scheme (OMS) runs from March of Year 12 to December Year 13 and is free for state funded schools and colleges. Students will have an Oxbridge educated subject expert to academically mentor them in preparation for their applications to Oxbridge and top UK universities. Information about which students we particularly encourage to apply can be found on our Applications page.

What is included in OMS?

The short answer is everything! We offer comprehensive, personalised help on:
  • Course and college choice
  • Myth busting what Oxbridge is like
  • Brainstorming UCAS personal statements and refining them
  • Submitted work and any extra forms (like the SAQ)
  • The admissions tests
  • The interviews, featuring mock interviews with constructive feedback
The longer answer is that you get
  • A personal mentor from Oxbridge
  • Monthly mentoring sessions with a mentor using a dialogue-based approach to explore topics, concepts and theories
  • Monthly webinars run by our central team
  • Unique reading lists to encourage learning beyond the classroom
  • Resource booklets and a full syllabus to break down the whole process into manageable sections
  • A ‘Learning Log’ to keep track of progress
  • Future Leader Sessions, which focus on personal development and speaking with other students
  • Learning frameworks and mnemonics that help structure thoughts and responses
  • Invitations to exclusive events, such as our Oxbridge Interview Workshop & Annual Conference (with chances to meet alumni and network)

How is OMS unique?

We have a full syllabus created by professionals and enhanced by our student alumni and mentors

Our students interact with each other regularly to share ideas, work as a team and ask each other questions

Our mentors listen, then help. They are all trained by OMS and many are former OMS students themselves

The OMS first ran in 2006! We became a charity in 2018. What we do has been tried and tested for years.

Will I have enough time?

Do not worry, we know that this list can sound like a lot. The reason we developed our central syllabus is so that there is a different focus each month and you can work towards the big goal of Oxbridge through a series of shorter, smaller goals along the way.

Why we exist

Our charity sets out to address some of the known challenges that exist in Oxbridge applications:

  • Disproportionately low application rate by state school students: According to the Independent Schools Census of 2017, 93% of pupils are educated in state schools yet only 67% of Oxbridge applications are from state school students. 
  • Disproportionality low success rates of state school applications: According to 2019 Cambridge undergraduate admissions statistics, the success rate of applications to Cambridge from state schools is 20%, compared to 25% at independent schools.
  • Disproportionality low success rates for Black African-Caribbean students: In 2019, only 15% secured a place to study at Cambridge by comparison to the 23% success rate for white applicants.
  • Disproportionality in applying to oversubscribed Oxbridge subjects: State school Oxbridge applicants target the most oversubscribed subjects at Oxford and Cambridge universities, including Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Medicine, Law and Physics.
  • North/South opportunity divide: According to the 2015 UCAS and Oxbridge admissions data only 2.2% of students in the North East made an application to Oxbridge, compared to 5.9% in the South-East.
  • Rebalancing equality of opportunity: Bright students at state schools and colleges (with little or no Oxbridge application support) currently compete for places with privately educated students where Oxbridge preparation activities are commonplace. 
 
As a tried and tested academic mentoring programme, Insight Outreach hopes to have deeper social impact on a wider range and increased number of students.