Internship Scheme 2021

What's new?

Supporting students’ academic transition to Oxford: Perspectives from our Student Experience Interns

A new report written by our Student Experience Interns 2021 includes recommendations aimed at enhancing support for new students to Oxford.

Read the report (SSO required).


Six graduate interns participated in our Student Experience Internship Scheme 2021 for 10 weeks from July to September.

The goal for the Internship Scheme 2021 was to further the University’s equality objectives of reducing gaps in access, participation and attainment among students.

While barriers to the University's equality objectives are multiple and complex, students have identified both Oxford’s curricula and its wider culture of teaching and learning as key areas of focus.

Interns partnered with academics, educational developers, and other key stakeholders on two inclusion related projects:

  • Project 1: Race and the curriculum
  • Project 2: Student transition to Oxford

Both projects aim to further the University’s education-related commitments in its strategic plan to:

  1. Attract and admit students from a wider range of backgrounds (Commitment 1).
  2. Offer an excellent academic experience to all students and equip them to excel in whatever they choose to do (Commitment 2).
  3. Refresh the University’s rich academic environment (Commitment 3). 

Both projects also aim to build on the existing inclusive teaching support developed by the Centre for Teaching and Learning, including the Flexible and Inclusive Teaching (FIT) materials and the Introduction to inclusive teaching at Oxford (SSO required) online course.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning's Student Experience Internship Scheme 2021 was supported generously by the University’s Diversity Fund.

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Background: As outlined in the University’s Access and Participation Plan, there is an awarding gap between BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) students and their white counterparts, with BAME students at a disadvantage. 

Education research shows that students who feel a sense of belonging – within their discipline, institution and broader academic community – are more likely to succeed and achieve ‘good’ degrees.  

Project objective: The project aims to support those who teach at Oxford to develop an inclusive learning environment for all students and in particular support BAME students’ sense of academic belonging.

Project output: Interns will develop a ‘Race and the curriculum’ toolkit that outlines practical recommendations and materials that can be used by those who teach to address race in their teaching. The guidance will be applicable across a range of disciplines and settings.

Interns will be supported by the Project Advisory Group and CTL staff to ensure the toolkit is applicable to the Oxford context, and founded on student and staff consultations.

Interns will collaborate with and work alongside the Project Advisory Group, and will consult with existing university groups such as the Race Equality Task Force and the Student Union.

The project will align with the Race Equality Task Force’s aim to ensure that all students have an educational experience that draws on the contributions of diverse societies and cultures and a supportive environment that promotes a sense of belonging.

By working in partnership with student interns to develop this toolkit, we hope to encourage changes that will have the greatest positive impact on students learning experiences across Oxford.

Output dissemination: The toolkit will be published on the Centre for Teaching and Learning’s website, and its use promoted widely to students and staff across the Collegiate University.

Background: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, students around the world have experienced varying degrees of disruption to their pre-university education (‘learning loss’).

This has the potential to exacerbate existing inequalities in student attainment. 

Project objective: Since March 2020, the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has been supporting the University to deliver Flexible and Inclusive Teaching (FIT) that meets the needs of students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This internship project aims to extend the CTL’s provision of FIT support to departments and colleges by developing resources to support student transition to studying at Oxford.

Project outputs: Interns will develop a range of resources to support undergraduate students’ transition to University study.

This will include a pre-arrival academic ‘question set’ which could be used by departments and colleges as part of their existing student transition support to understand in more detail the diversity of educational experiences of their incoming students.

Other resources to be developed may include Oxford-specific teaching support guides focusing on areas such as diagnostic testing, peer-peer learning and formative feedback, all of which will aim to support students’ sense of academic belonging and attainment.

Interns will conduct research into recently published literature on student transition and learning loss during the pandemic, and review established research on ‘learning loss’ during the summer months prior to university entry.

They will also consult widely with academics and the student community in the development of project outputs.

Output dissemination: Resources developed from this project will be published on the CTL's website, and promoted widely to students and staff across the Collegiate University.

Follow the links below to find out more about our Student Experience Interns in 2021.

Recording now available. Student internship project: Embedding inclusive teaching at Oxford.

Listen to our six interns as they discuss what they have learnt and achieved from their two projects on embedding inclusive teaching practices at Oxford.

Recorded on Wednesday 1 September 2021.

Materials now available. View the resources developed in collaboration with our student experience interns to support teaching staff and new undergraduate students at Oxford.

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