In November 2020, we were joined by our new Schools Liaison and Access Officer, Jack Wands.
Jack joins us from the Social Mobility Foundation where he worked as a programme coordinator, supporting high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds and helping them access top universities and competitive professions, especially in medicine and law.
Prior to his role at the Social Mobility Foundation, Jack completed an undergraduate degree at Wadham College in Philosophy, Politics and Economics where he also served as Student Union President and worked closely with Oxford Students’ Union on Class Act, a campaign aimed at helping working-class students once at Oxford.
Jack joins at a unique time for access and outreach at Oxford as we unfortunately aren’t able to welcome students to Merton in person as we normally would. Instead, we are planning to run a series of virtual events for prospective applicants across Merton’s link regions and beyond. This includes our new link regions of Bristol, Bath, and North East Somerset. Jack is also keen to work with our South West Consortium partner colleges, Lady Margaret Hall and Exeter College, to collaborate on access initiatives in the wider South West.
The first of our virtual events have already taken place. We held a virtual meeting, in collaboration with Robinson College, Cambridge, for prospective applicants in Swindon, as well as a pre-interview webinar with some of our Student Ambassadors for all those shortlisted for interview this year.
“Merton has welcomed me with open arms, and I’m excited to hit the ground running and reach out to prospective applicants across our link regions. Restrictions on travelling and social distancing present unique challenges, but also some exciting opportunities. The Virtual Open Days showed just how much can be achieved digitally and I’m keen to build on what we learned to provide a truly exceptional virtual access programme alongside our various other programmes, college tours, and outbound visits, once it is safe to restart these.”