One of Linacre's key values is offering support that is ‘Long-term and personal’, and we took a big step in this direction in January when we formed the Linacre Alumni Society. The Society helps formalise links between ex-students who are already keeping in touch and supporting each other, ensuring a community of curiosity continues long after the summer schools are over. It also aims to provide a networking platform for alumni particularly when they move from higher education into employment.
We are honoured that Prof Peter Hennessy (Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield) has agreed to become our first patron. Peter went from grammar school in Gloucestershire to become one of our leading journalists and historians. He has already done inspiring work with Linacre students, asking them never to lose what Einstein called “a holy curiosity”, a message which sums up much of what the charity is trying to achieve. Peter is also a crossbench, or independent, peer in the House of Lords.
The access chasm dividing north and south England is huge, new figures reveal. A child growing up in parts of southern England is 15 times more likely to reach a leading university than one in a Linacre target area, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Labour MP David Lammy. Between 2010 and 2015, students from Barnsley in South Yorkshire won just five offers from Cambridge.
Welcome to our spring newsletter. It has been an intriguing few months, with more success for our students but also new research showing just how much northern students need expert support. So far, nineteen of our 22 students in 2015-16 have won offers from our dozen most competitive universities, including Cambridge, Oxford, UCL, Edinburgh and Durham. All come from parts of the north of England in the bottom third nationally for educational outcomes.