Gonville & Caius College has appointed Gwyneth Hamand as London Outreach Officer, with responsibility for outreach and admissions in the seven London Boroughs with which the College is linked.
Through the University of Cambridge College Area Link Scheme, Caius is linked with the counties of Hertfordshire and Norfolk, plus the London Boroughs of Barnet, Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Newham and Waltham Forest.
Gwyneth’s role is a new role in the Caius Admissions office, made possible by generous donations to the Caius Fund from alumni and other members of the community during our May 2021 giving day, Caius Gives.
She will work with Dr Chris Scott, Caius’ Tutor for Admissions and Outreach, and Schools’ Liaison Officer David Rennie, who took up his position last month. David introduces himself in a video, below.
The trio are focused on widening participation and access to ensure those with the brightest academic potential are given the opportunity to thrive, hopefully at Caius.
Find out more about our access and outreach initiatives on our website.
Gwyneth, 56 and a proud Londoner, knows the boroughs of Newham and Waltham Forest well and has a background as a physics teacher and access specialist in post-16 education.
“This is about supporting young people – well educated young people who are aspirational – into elite academic institutions,” she says.
“For some people this very academic environment is like coming home. We need to enable a broader group of those people to find that connection.”
For some people this very academic environment is like coming home. We need to enable a broader group of those people to find that connection
Our current students have a diverse range of backgrounds, all with a common enthusiasm and focus which has driven them towards Cambridge and Caius.
Gwyneth hopes to harness this representation and provide opportunities for prospective applicants by asking student ambassadors and academics to share their passion for their subjects. Direct connections through simulated supervisions and conversations will support this.
She says: “There is something about the excitement of academic engagement. That’s what’s enticing for able young people.
“I am keen to work with academic tutors and run activities such as academic supervisions so young people can begin to experience some of the things which are very, very special about Cambridge.”
Our Admissions and Outreach team: Vicky Levet, Dr Chris Scott, Gwyneth Hamand, David Rennie and Abi Bartlett
Gwyneth worked at in post 16 education in East London as a physics teacher and pastoral lead on UCAS (university admissions), supporting the academic and vocational needs of young people to access higher and further education.
She also worked for Enfield Council at The Aimhigher Manager focusing on enrichment, progression, and social justice. She then became a school improvement advisor, working with primary and secondary schools, while specialising in science and post-16 provision at Enfield Council.
She is not a Cambridge graduate herself – she studied at Cardiff, University of London and Middlesex University – offering a different perspective. She also plans to demystify university life for anyone with doubts over their potential to thrive in higher education.
She adds: “Why shouldn’t this be for you? You should look for the connections that may be for you; they may not be as obvious.”
Gwyneth plans to work with other Higher Education providers – universities, Cambridge and Oxford colleges and charities – on existing programmes, while creating longer-term sustainable programmes at Caius. She also wants to work with primary school children.
“That’s when they start forming their adult identity and that’s when we can have most impact,” she says.
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