Pathway to success: Coleg y Cymoedd selected for exclusive programme offered by Oxford University

18 of Coleg y Cymoedd’s A-Level students have been chosen to participate in New College’s (Oxford University) Step-Up Programme, an outreach scheme designed to inspire and support state-school students through Years 12 and 13.

This term, the participating AS-Level students will commence the two-year programme which aims for students to recognise Oxford as a realistic and achievable university option. As well as this, the scheme will ensure the students are equipped with the necessary tools and support to make a competitive Oxbridge application.

Oxford’s Shelby Holmes paid a visit to Coleg y Cymoedd’s Nantgarw-based A-Level Centre in October to deliver an introductory session. As a sustained-contact scheme, the participating students will continue to have regular contact with the university’s Outreach team following the visit.

New College’s Step-Up Programme runs throughout the full two years of A-Level study and is structured as follows:


This step introduces the Step-Up programme and give students a firm understanding of what university is, what the benefits of university are, and why Oxford is a little bit different.

Visit to New College

This step involves a visit to New College, Oxford University in the spring term. Students get a tour of the College and have their chance to ask questions to current undergraduates.

Application Process

This step is all about understanding the application process from start to finish. Students will get a sense of what is expected from successful candidates.

Personal Statements

This step focuses on Personal Statement writing and happens in the summer of Year 12.

Interview Practice (Optional)

If Step-Up students have been invited to interview, there is a further step available focusing on Oxford and Cambridge interview preparation.

The Step-Up Programme is one of many widening-access schemes that Coleg y Cymoedd’s A-Level Centre has introduced, encouraging high-achieving learners from state schools to apply for top universities.

This most recent partnership comes after the college saw its best exam results ever in academic year 2022/2023, with record-breaking Oxbridge places and an increase of 24.1% in A*/A grades compared with pre-pandemic external exam results in 2019.

“Initiatives such as the Step-Up Programme open up a world of opportunity for our students,” said Holly Richards, MAT Co-ordinator for A Levels at Coleg y Cymoedd.

“Education should never be restricted by one’s postcode or economic circumstances. This opportunity allows us to bridge the gap between aspiration and achievement. We are immensely proud to be part of this life-changing journey.”

Find out more about A-Levels at Coleg y Cymoedd at the last Open Event of 2023:



Wellington Street
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF44 8EN


Heol y Coleg
Parc Nantgarw
CF15 7QY


Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF40 2TQ

Ystrad Mynach

Twyn Road
Ystrad Mynach
CF82 7XR

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