Perspectives from Black Students

Video series: Live Q&As with students


Hear from current students about being Black at Oxbridge.


We caught up with members of Oxford and Cambridge's ACSs, and the co-authors of 'Taking Up Space', to hear about their insights from studying at Oxbridge. We discussed a range of topics including general uni life, and the support systems in place for Black students.

Our panellists:

Jess (Medicine, Oxford)
Phoenix (Medicine, Oxford)
Chelsea (History, Oxford)
Oluchi (Human, Social, and Political Science, Cambridge)
Zute (Medicine, Cambridge)
Ore (Human, Social, and Political Science, Cambridge)

(Chelsea and Ore's photos by Ayshe Zaifoglu)


00:00:05 - Introduction
00:00:09 - Introduction to event
00:00:11 - Introduction to InsideUni
00:01:02 - Introduction to panellists

00:05:02 - Section 1: What made the panellists apply to Oxbridge?
00:05:14 – Jessica
00:06:29 - Zute
00:07:34 - Ore

00:10:00 - Section 2: Pre-submitted and Live Questions
00:10:02 – What is your favourite part of uni life?
00:14:07 - Have Oxford and Cambridge changed a lot in recent years?
00:17:35 - How did you tackle the ‘not fitting in’ mentality? Have you ever felt alienated or experienced racism, and how did you deal with it?
00:24:03 - With the fact that we are unable to visit the actual unis for open days, how do you suggest we get a feel for the colleges and the campus?
00:27:22 - What are your top three personal statement tips?
00:33:30 - Would you say that the university has an adequate support system for Black students, or do the students and societies do most of the work?
00:35:04 - What do you think the future for African Caribbean students looks like a Cambridge, with the recent events?
00:36:31 - In ‘Taking Up Space’, there was a sense that the diversity programmes aren’t really part of the university. Instead, is this a responsibility that students have to advocate for more than the university itself?
00:39:08 - Within your subject, have you studied something you’ve thought to be racist, was it acknowledged, and did you feel you could discuss this with your supervisor?
00:42:43 - Do you feel as though professors and admin take race seriously and with an open mind?
00:44:22 - Have you ever felt weird about having an ethnic name?
00:45:57 - Would you say that the university is supporting, staying neutral on, or inhibiting the decolonization of the curriculum?
00:48:44 - Have you ever felt hindered due to finances at university?
00:50:53 - Is it tiring having to fight for racial awareness and doing what the university should be doing?

00:53:25 - Section 3: One piece of advice for prospective Black students
00:53:58 - Oluchi
00:54:06 - Jessica
00:54:50 - Phoenix
00:55:36 - Zute
00:56:27 - Chelsea
00:57:03 - Ore

00:57:51 – Conclusion/thanks/closing