Oxford University has launched an innovative new digital outreach portal aimed at engaging school students aged 11 to 18 with debates and ideas that go beyond what is covered in the classroom.
As the ‘Home of Big Questions’, Oxplore will tackle complex ideas across a wide range of subjects and draw on the latest research carried out at Oxford.
The project aims to raise aspirations, promote broader thinking and stimulate intellectual curiosity. Examples of Big Questions include ‘Is a robot a person?’, ‘Does fake news matter?’, ‘Can war be a good thing?’ and ‘Would you want to live forever?’
Content on Oxplore reflects the kind of thinking students undertake at universities like Oxford and draws on the University’s expertise in everything from archaeology to zoology, offering approaches to challenges and questions underpinned by the latest thinking and research.
Dr Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at Oxford University, said: ‘Oxplore can underpin outreach work from right across the collegiate University. It complements and adds value to our current programmes, but the digital medium also gives us the opportunity to have sustained contact with young people who are geographically distant from Oxford.
‘The engaging design and content and the independent study it encourages may also reach those who for whatever reason don’t think Oxford is for them. From an early age we can start to dispel this belief and at the same time nurture intellectual curiosity. Developing this new platform has allowed us to challenge ourselves, innovate and create something entirely new.
‘Supporting access and outreach work at Oxford is essential to helping us ensure Oxford is accessible to all and we can select the best students purely on academic merit and passion for their subject.’
Oxplore has been built and created by the University of Oxford for young people as part of its commitment to reaching the best students from every kind of background. The project is co-ordinated by the University’s Widening Access and Participation team, which delivers outreach work with young people across the UK.