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Curriculum: Oxford Univeristy Taster Day

Richard Lander Students Find Out How Netflix Can Diagnose Diseases

Report by Caitlin Roach and Molly Grady

On the 7th November, ten Year 11 Richard Lander students visited Merton College, Oxford University. The day started early and we arrived at Merton by 10.30 (after visiting a couple of colleges beforehand, including Corpus Christie).

On arrival we had an introductory discussion about making A Level choices and the cost of going to university. We thought that Oxford would be very expensive but in reality most good universities charge £9000 per year for tuition fees, and Oxford has a generous bursary system so students with lower incomes can access money without having to pay it back. Furthermore, the colleges have reasonably priced accommodation and food. For example, a three course formal dinner costs just £3 at Merton College.

After the introduction we experienced three mini-lectures on very different topics; God, Netflix and Twitter. The Twitter lecture focused on how we are all connected and the study of Social Sciences. The Netflix lecture taught us that Netflix makes suggestions for us based on algorithms and these same programmes can be used to diagnose diseases. The God lecture explored many of the commonly held perception we have about God and raised issues such as natural evil.

In the afternoon we met with a student who helped us to choose out A Levels based on what we would like to do at University or for a career. This was the highlight of our day as we were able to ask her what we really wanted to know about life at Oxford University. We were then taken on a tour of the college and living accommodation. The surrounding and buildings were beautiful and inspiring, which wasn’t surprising when you consider that Merton is one of the oldest colleges at Oxford, founded in 1264.

The visit was interesting, informative and really made us consider our options.

Richard Lander School