Here's How UK Student Makes Oxbridge Accessible to Underprivileged Applicants

3 years ago



Meet Joe Seddon, the founder and CEO of Access Oxbridge, which is a brilliant educational initiative, in our honest opinion! The website is aimed to help students from underprivileged backgrounds apply for prestigious universities like Oxford and Cambridge, thus making them more accessible. The Typical Student team learned more about Access Oxbridge which Malala Yousafzai called “amazing”.

Who Is Joe Seddon?

joe-sheddon-launches-access-oxbridge-01Source: The Tab

Make no mistake, Joe Seddon comes from a single-parent family residing in the outskirts of Leeds. You wouldn't call him underprivileged, yet he definitely stood out among his classmates when he first arrived at Oxford. The area Joe grew up in is "one of the worst in the country for getting students into Oxford and Cambridge." Despite that, Seddon was top of the class at school. It always takes somebody to motivate you, so one of Joe's teachers pushed him to apply for an Oxbridge place. While at Oxford, Seddon met a lot of privileged students for who getting enrolled wasn't a big deal. Joe went to Mansfield College with 88% of enrollees coming from state schools. He would often feel weird for being there, and felt like an imposter.

How Did Access Oxbridge Start?


Source: Access Oxbridge

While in his second year at uni, Joe found a way to earn an extra coin with online tutoring. Sudden changes in his bursary payments forced him to ways to earn money. At that time Joe discovered tutoring paid well, as he was making £50/hour helping international students prepare for Oxbridge. At that moment he thought that spreading that initiative to disadvantaged students could be a great idea. So, this past summer he started the Access Oxbridge website matching Oxbridge student volunteers with underprivileged students who need help with their applications or interview preparation. The idea behind the matching algorithm is similar backgrounds, also it prioritizes which students to help according to their academic achievements. 

How Many Volunteers Does Access Oxbridge Have?

Surprisingly, in the first hour after the website launch, 100 Oxford students signed up! Malala Yousafzai commented on the initiative: “This is amazing!!!” As told by The Tab, the eligible applicants will be provided with live video tutorials with tips on "personal statements, admissions test guidance, and Oxbridge-style mock interviews." Becoming a volunteer doesn't take much: sign up on the website and commit one hour per week to the tutees!  

Joe is happy to help students from underprivileged backgrounds. He says: "Access Oxbridge really is just a platform to do that. It's a very simple idea but it's having a very powerful impact."

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