Our new Schools Liaison Officer (SLO) has arrived and we are delighted that she is here!
Rosie Costello joined the Admissions team on 22 October and will be continuing our work with schools in Caius’ link areas, encouraging talented young people to consider Cambridge as an option for their university education, regardless of their background.
Rosie fully appreciates the work of an SLO: she applied to Cambridge after visiting with her school in Year 12. As she recalls, ‘The visit proved many stereotypes to be untrue, and I found the University to be a very friendly and welcoming place. I then decided to apply, and was lucky enough to be offered a place to study English.’ Speaking about her new role, Rosie says: ‘I am very excited that I now have the chance to provide these same visits for others, and to ensure that students don’t rule themselves out from brilliant opportunities.’
As part of her role, Rosie will be visiting schools throughout Caius’ link areas, which include Hertfordshire, Norfolk and several London boroughs. She will also be overseeing our popular Schools’ Prizes, and offering a first point of contact for any school needing advice about sending their applicants to the University. Every year, Caius is visited by large numbers of students from its link areas, as well as from other parts of the UK, and Rosie will be ensuring that they are all given a warm welcome, and all the advice they need.
School visits are just one of the ways that Caius is promoting access to Cambridge. Earlier this year, we hosted our inaugural BME conference. Designed to encourage students from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds to apply to Cambridge, the conference gave students the opportunity to sample College life and speak to current undergraduates. The College also runs an annual Women in Economics event, organised by our Director of Studies in Economics, Victoria Bateman, which gives sixth-form girls the chance to hear from top female speakers and from female undergraduate students. Last August, Caius also co-hosted the first Women in STEM Outreach Residential. This three-day event saw Year 11 students spend time experiencing life in Cambridge, attending academic sessions, visiting departments and getting to utilise their own creativity and knowledge in an interactive engineering project: the hope is that more women might be motivated to pursue STEM subjects following this initiative. Rosie is keen to continue this programme of special events, so that as many people as possible can visit Caius and explore their future options.
Our outreach work aims to de-mystify both the applications process and the University more generally, but most especially to encourage all suitably qualified students to apply. As Rosie puts it, ‘There is no set ‘type’ of applicant Caius is looking for; there is no need to have come from a certain background, and no one has to fit into a certain ‘mould’. We want to see an application from anyone who is enthusiastic about learning, passionate about their course, and who has the intellect and drive to succeed.’
Rosie is eager to reach out to, and build links with, as many schools as possible within Caius’ link areas, and she is particularly keen to hear from schools who may never have had contact with Cambridge before. If you are interested in finding out more, or in supporting our outreach work, please contact Rosie on firstname.lastname@example.org.