Last week, we were joined by a diverse group of over 150 supporters and alumni from a range of matriculation years (1960s-2020), global locations, and professions. The President and Fellows communicated what is ahead for Queens' and there was a lively Q&A session.
Dr Jane Garrison (Admissions Tutor) and Dr Andrew Thompson (Senior Tutor) began by discussing the importance of access initiatives and postgraduate funding to allow prospective students access to Cambridge.
The President then hosted a brief interview with one of the first Alexander Crummell MPhil Scholars, Chloe Sainsbury (2021). Chloe gave an insight into the benefits of receiving the Scholarship, which include allowing her to continue onto postgraduate level study at Cambridge.
The President followed with a detailed overview of Queens' focus in 2022, such as enhancing our intellectual society, access & participation, postgraduate funding and infrastructure.
We endeavour to improve our infrastructure by providing suitable study spaces and interactive areas to allow greater opportunities to pursue academic excellence . One recent development is the refurbishment of the Armitage Room for enhanced postgraduate study space.
We are focusing first on transforming Owlstone Croft into a holistic complex with study spaces, meeting rooms, and social areas. Our aim is then to concentrate on implementing changes and enhancing the Silver Street site to utilise the space.
Queens' believes that diversity is a source of strength. Broadening participation is at the heart of our educational mission, but there is a lot more that we can and should do. Our aim is to level the playing field so that people who can achieve great things have access to Queens’.
The College is part of the College Area Links Scheme which provides students a contact point in link areas such as Bradford, Kent, the Medway towns, and Havering. The scheme encourages students to progress into higher education regardless of their socio-economic background. We will be working with our Schools Liaison Officers, JCR Access Officer, and external charities, like IntoUniversity, to explain how the application works to students at a young age and engage them with the idea of continuing into higher education.
Lots of students at postgraduate level fund themselves as there are limited provisions to financially assist them. Our aim is to address this issue.
Queens’ has recently launched ongoing campaigns, such as the Alexander Crummell Scholarships and The Lisa Hall Postgraduate Scholarship, to offer financial aid for postgrads. Our aim is to continue this focus and expand these scholarships even further.
We heard from Chloe Sainsbury (middle), who is studying for her MPhil in Psychology and is one of the first Alexander Crummell Scholars. Chloe discusses how it would be beneficial to have an established scheme of Scholarships to provide a support group for new students. The College would like to expand on these opportunities to establish a community of people with shared experiences.
Our Fellowship programme will be expanded to diversify our intellectual society by inviting academics from a wide range of fields and different backgrounds to join our community. In doing so, we hope to encourage intellectual curiosity and emphasise interdisciplinary opportunities.
Recently we offered membership at Queens' to two of the University's Blavatnik Fellows for them to join our Postdoctoral Research Associate programme, while providing them with the opportunity to meet other academics. We have also increased funding for our Junior Research Fellows.