Our Diverse Community
We want Pembroke to really feel like home for all our members, regardless of your background or circumstances. Our people are the heart of the College, and having a mix of perspectives brought to bear in all areas of our life brings great strength.
There will always be more to do to ensure to ensure that we live up to our values of inclusivity and adaptability. Listening to the honest feedback of current and former members is a key element in our commitment to making improvements.
We want to encourage pupils with academic aptitude and dedication to their studies to consider an application to Oxford and Pembroke, regardless of their background or circumstances. Outreach work with pupils, schools, communities and teachers in underrepresented areas of England is an important part of our commitment to increasing diversity at Pembroke.
Those considering university applications who are the first in their family to do so (First Generation applicants) may appreciate particular support through the process, and we aim to provide this through open day sessions and subsequent tailored interactions. We also work hard to ensure that successful applicants from underrepresented backgrounds have the support they need to thrive once they arrive as students.
The BlackPembroke group was been formed to consider the particular needs and experiences of Black applicants, students and staff. Chaired by an alumna, this group includes current and former students and staff members and seeks to provide a safe, comfortable environment for members from across the College community to share experiences and ideas, to listen, and to collaborate.
The aims of the Group are twofold: to improve our environment and practices and therefore the experience of Black students and staff already at Pembroke, and to increase the long-term participation of Black students in Oxford admissions.
At meetings, members give feedback about admissions trends and access initiatives, as well as sharing personal experiences of their time at Pembroke and Oxford. These inform discussions about how the student experience might be made both more inclusive for current students and more accessible to prospective applicants. The Group has influenced policies in College to promote Black student welfare and wellbeing and to encourage the recruitment and achievement of Black staff.
BlackPembroke has also developed partnerships with other institutions, student groups, Black-led organisations, and schools, including the Oxford African and Caribbean Society (ACS) and Thinking Black, a social enterprise founded by Pembroke alumna Hope Oloye.
Find our more about Black scholarships on offer at Pembroke and Oxford.
Angela Daniel (2017, MSc Major Programme Management)
In 2020 the outpouring of grief and anger following the murder of George Floyd in America resonated with me. I started talking to my own daughters about casual racism and thinking more fully about the challenges which black people still face in the UK and around the world. I decided I wanted to do something to try to help the next generation and to ensure that the huge pool of talent within the black community does not go untapped.
I was glad to get involved with Pembroke’s efforts to listen, reflect and improve – there is much to do. My hope is that this College can make a difference to the lives of pupils who might not think Oxford is for them – by reaching out to them, welcoming them, engaging with them, inspiring them, supporting them, encouraging them and giving them the base from which to go on to have a positive impact on society themselves.
Part of making Pembroke home for everyone is getting to know all our students as individuals, and responding to particular needs for support. We have a number students with disabilities, many of which are "hidden", as well as students who are estranged from their family, or acting as carers for those close to them.
If you have a particular need then we will seek to support you in the best way possible. Those with disabilities can have a plan put in place with professional advice provided by the University's Disability Advisory Service. Adjustments can be made to course provision, exam conditions and physical living spaces.
Having a mix of (in many cases fairly recently renovated) old buildings and 21st century facilities means our College site is well set up for students who use wheelchairs and we have recent experience of supporting this.
Our academics and support staff come from a range of backgrounds, and arrive at various stages in their career. There is more to do to ensure that all cultures and races are represented. Apart from the strength that diversity brings to our academic and professional interactions, we also want our students and applicants to feel that there are role models here for them. Our recruitment processes are intended to provide equal opportunities for all applicants, regardless of their background.