AN OXFORD University college has been given £625,000 for a programme to encourage more Welsh students to apply for a place.

Jesus College — informally known as Oxford’s Welsh college with 24 Welsh Heads of College from 1571 to 1915 - has been attracting students from less traditional ‘Oxford’ backgrounds ever since the college’s foundation.

Now a former student has made the significant donation to boost Welsh applications.

Oxford Mail:

With its 450th birthday in 2021, the college has confirmed that its flagship access intervention scheme, to support the Welsh Government’s Seren Network programme, has received the generous donation of £625,000 from a former student who wishes to remain anonymous.

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This will secure the Jesus-Seren Summer School programme for the foreseeable future, giving future generations of Welsh students the opportunity to attend the college.

College principal Sir Nigel Shadbolt said: “This generous donation secures a substantial portion of the necessary funding for the college’s Seren Network Summer School.

“Since its inception in 2017, the programme has been successful in attracting Welsh applicants from state schools to Oxford, with a higher than usual percentage being awarded a place.

"Our donor has chosen to endow a number of places at the summer school in perpetuity.

"This is a hugely successful way of widening access and we hope that others might consider helping.”

Oxford Mail:

The Welsh Government’s Minister for Education Kirsty Williams said: “The collaboration with Oxford University through the Jesus-Seren summer school has been one of the early successes of this investment, as Wales leads the way in creating a dedicated outreach support programme for our most talented young students.

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“This significant and generous donation will ensure that future leaders from Wales will be provided with dedicated and bespoke support at the Welsh college at Oxford for many years to come.”

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: "This investment will enable more Welsh students to benefit from an important insight into life at Oxford University.”

Since 2017, Jesus College has been working with the Welsh Government’s Seren Network to deliver an all-expenses-paid summer school for state school students and this year's summer school takes place from August 19-23.