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Celebrating 10 years of Pembroke Access: My story by Alex Lunnon

18th June 2019

Welcome to the seventh article in our series of student stories, this week, we caught up with Alex Lunnon. Alex participated in the Pembroke Humanities and Social Sciences programme in 2017. Following his participation in the programme, Alex felt that he was able to make an informed decision on applying to university, and to Oxford.

‘I joined the programme very last minute. My Head of Sixth Form told me that there was a place available on the summer school, and I leapt at the opportunity. It seemed like a great way to experience Oxford for myself, in both an academic sense, and as a bit of a tourist too!

[Whilst on the course] I studied intellectual history, looking at 17th Century Japanese philosophy and its historical influences. This sounds niche and bizarre – and it was – but that’s what made it so brilliant. I was studying a new type of history; a part of the world I’d never studied in school. It really showed me that there was a whole academic world out there which Oxford would allow me to explore.

I’d considered Oxford as a university choice before but didn’t realise until I did the course that quite a lot of what I thought I knew about the University was actually not accurate or was just outright mythical. The programme helped me see Oxford for what it really is, and helped me to understand the process of getting there. It took away the fear factor and meant I could make a much more educated choice about university.

The course really helped me see outside the academic boundaries of my A-Levels. My studies in Sixth Form showed me only a tiny fraction of what history had to offer, and the course allowed me to build an interest in new areas, especially global history. I began to read about new parts of the world and my expanded interest was vital to my Oxford application.

Alex subsequently applied to Oxford and secured a position at Pembroke to study History after his time on the Programme. He is now about to finish his first year. He has recently been elected as JCR Welfare rep for 2019-20 and wants to make the most of College life through various societies, as well as being involved with Pembroke’s ongoing access work.

Alex Lunnon
Alex Lunnon