"This will be a life changing opportunity for the students selected," she said. "It is a very rare opportunity that we jumped on as soon as we learned about itâOxford doesn't look for new partnerships every day."
"The fact that a college at Oxford University was willing to build its portfolio of visiting students to include us as a new partnerâand their only Canadian partnerâis almost unheard of. It is extremely flattering and exciting," said Sheppard.
With only 30 visiting students out of a total student body of 425 undergraduate students at St Anne's, U of S students are sure to have a memorable, challenging and immensely rewarding experience, said Sheppard. In order to apply, students must be full-time and in their second year with no less than an 80 per cent average.
The selection committee is currently reviewing the applicants to ensure that they meet the requirements before forwarding the portfolios to Oxford for final selection. Students will learn in early spring 2014, if they have been selected.
Top-tier universities like Oxford are inundated with partnership requests, so unless an institution has something unique to offer, they typically are not interested, explained Sheppard. The University of Saskatchewan's selling point, was the fact that it is a Canadian institution with an extensive offering of Aboriginal programming and services, a unique feature of interest to Oxford.
St Anne's College was founded in 1879. It admits candidates, regardless of background, who display the highest academic potential and imagination along with enthusiasm for their subject. The college is just north of Oxford city centreâfive minutes by bicycleâand close to the University Parks and Science Areas.
"This is an exciting chance for St Anne's to welcome students from a diverse range of internationally renowned universities," said Alexander Binns, director of studies for visiting students at St Anne's College.
"The tutorial experience, for which Oxford is famous, will be the centre piece of study for students from the U of S during their time as visiting students. This model, in which usually two students meet with their tutor weekly for each course taken, not only enables detailed and personalized feedback to be made on the essays or problems set for each session, but it also fosters a deep and academically refreshing understanding of the chosen subject area."
Binns said the hope is that one day, this will be a true exchange agreement and the University of Saskatchewan will accept students from St Anne's College for one year as well.
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