The new scheme is the latest to be announced by Trinity during the pandemicLouis Ashworth

Trinity College has announced a pilot ‘Track to Trin’ mentoring scheme to widen access for Black students.

The programme is aimed at students of African and Caribbean heritage. It will involve subject-specific webinars hosted by PhD students at the College and application guidance from Trinity’s Outreach Team.

According to a post on the College’s website, the scheme “aims to ensure that Trinity College targets groups who are most underrepresented at the University, ensuring that access to academic materials and application support resources are available to all, irrespective of background.”

The pilot scheme’s success will determine whether the mentoring initiative will be rolled out for the 2021/22 academic year.

Track to Trin was developed by three Trinity students: Serena Cole, Elizabeth Beevers and Vanessa Tang.

Cole, who is also President-elect of Trinity College Student Union (TCSU) said: “I love hearing the impact that access work has had on incoming Freshers and hope that the mentoring and guidance through Track to Trin will bring high-achieving black students one step closer to applying and getting into Cambridge.”

Beevers, TCSU access officer, explained the motivation behind Track to Trin: “With Trinity PhD students leading subject-specific sessions one of the key aims of this pilot scheme is to bolster students’ learning and reassure them – if needed – that Cambridge and Trinity is for them and they should feel confident in applying.”

Meanwhile, the Outreach Coordinator at Trinity, Jon Datta, emphasised the importance of mentoring programmes, stating they were vital in encouraging more Black students to consider applying to Oxbridge.

He continued: “As a College, we recognise the need to engage with younger black students too – the new Trinity Target Oxbridge Year 10 Programme does just that – and the response has been fantastic.”

The Trinity Target Oxbridge Programme for Year 10 students was announced in January and received over 750 applications for 100 spaces from 14-15-year-olds of Black African and Caribbean heritage.


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The scheme ultimately helped more than 70 Black students secure offers at Oxbridge in the 2020/21 admissions cycle, despite educational disruptions caused by the pandemic.

‘Track to Trin’ is the latest addition to Trinity College’s outreach programmes. A new online scheme for Year 12 students from low-income backgrounds was announced last month, and is accepting applications from Year 12 students with a high standard of academic achievement and disadvantaged backgrounds.

The past few years have seen an increase in scholarship and mentoring schemes aiming to help people of Black heritage to access financial or academic support on the road to Oxbridge applications. Grime artist Stormzy notably launched a scholarship scheme for Black students in 2018, helping two Cambridge students access £18,000 a year to cover tuition and living fees.

Applications for the Track to Trin pilot scheme are open until Friday, 5th March 2021.