Lifting the lid on studying at Cambridge
Thanks to funding from an anonymous donation, Lizzie Bowes (Newnham 2016) became the second Schools Liaison Officer for Trinity College earlier this academic year. Having been the first student from her state school to study at Cambridge, she is passionate about encouraging talented students who are under-represented at the University to attend open days and residential courses.
By reaching out to schools and prospective applicants across the country, Lizzie hopes to give more sixth form students the chance to experience university life, drawing upon her own experiences to help others.
“Many schools who have had no students attending Cambridge before simply do not have any information on the application process. It is through attending an open day or a residential course that they can gain meaningful information on applying to Cambridge and change their perception of studying here.”
Reflecting on her time attending a summer school at Cambridge, Lizzie says:
"It was only after seeing my department and what would later become my College that I could really envision a life here. If neither of your parents have been to university or if you come from a school that has had few pupils go to university in the past, then open days could be your only glimpse of what life might actually be like at Cambridge."
Lizzie has teamed up with her colleague Ellie Wood, who attended one of the then worst-performing schools in her county and was the first person to go to Cambridge from her school, to write their ten tips for open days.
Trinity College runs a varied outreach programme, including visits to schools and three-day residential courses at the College in a range of subjects.
Cambridge Student Liaison and Open Days
Through the University’s Area Links Scheme, every College is connected to a particular UK region and employs a Student Liaison Officer to build relationships with students, teachers and advisors in schools and colleges in that region. Many outreach activities are conducted that engage thousands of students, teachers and advisers across the whole of the UK and in many locations overseas.
The majority of SLOs are Cambridge graduates and all are passionate about raising educational aspirations and widening access to Cambridge.
Each year, Collegiate Cambridge opens its doors to prospective students, allowing them to find out more about courses, the application process, student support, finance and careers. They also give the opportunity to speak with staff from academic departments and Colleges, as well as current students.
About Trinity College
Dating back more than 700 years, Trinity College counts among its ranks distinguished alumni and academic Fellows in the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, the arts and literature, along with members who are notable for a wide range of endeavours, including Nobel Prize winners, and world and business leaders. The College, and those connected with it, have benefited from philanthropy for centuries. This tradition carries on today through donors whose gifts support some of the most talented students and researchers from around the world to come to study and research at Trinity and the University of Cambridge.