OUS Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Welcome from Crispin Drummond, Chairman of OUS Hampshire and Isle of Wight


Our area of operation covers the two counties, and includes the cities of Portsmouth & Southampton.  This area borders West Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire, Wiltshire and Dorset, and quite naturally we collaborate with our neighbouring OUS groups.

The Group has been thriving for many years, and presents a balanced programme of social events and activities throughout the season.  For the future, we aim to provide more for younger alumni, with families; and to keep closer touch with Oxford and its progress.

Since 2015, OUS Hampshire & IoW has been particularly active promoting Access & Outreach.  This is in line with the University’s stated objective in this area.  Our focus has been on students from under-represented areas, and our action has been to provide individual Mentoring sessions by OUS Members to sixth form colleges and secondary schools across the area. 

The Group is in touch with Oxford’s own programme in the area, which is led by Somerville, St Hilda’s and St John’s. We are also aware of initiatives in the same space by six local universities.

Our routine activity, however, comprises specific programmes that we arrange with individual schools, to provide regular 1to1 Mentoring sessions over about six months to selected disadvantaged pupils who will benefit.  This programme has evolved over several years, and now covers about 100 Mentors in 20 schools, supporting nearly 300 pupils.

Our Mentors are not teachers, and do not replace what schools are doing already.  Instead, they bring the benefit of personal experience and confidence, and above all time and individual focus, to help develop the potential of disadvantaged pupils.  In this way, the pupils can for examples improve their communication skills, clarify their thoughts, recognise their own potential, and develop their abilities to conduct research, to make assessments and to take decisions.   The objective is that, with our help, able pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds will make better selections of university application, and then be successful in winning the places they merit.

The pilot project for this initiative was held over several years at a local sixth form college, Barton Peveril. In that time, the number of pupils from Barton Peveril achieving places at Oxbridge/ medical school multiplied many times over.  The OUS Mentoring programme was an integral part of that success, and is therefore being rolled out elsewhere.

Full Membership of our Group is free, and open to alumni who are resident in Hampshire & the Isle of Wight.  Alumni living in neighbouring counties which are at present without active Groups are welcome too.

Qualified Membership is available to current Oxford undergraduates and postgraduates from the area (“Student Members”), and also those non-alumni who are Mentors in our Access & Outreach programme (“Associate Members”).

To register as a member of our OUS Group, the online process is straightforward: go to our page on MembershipMojo:      https://membermojo.co.uk/oushw

Our annual programme of activities aims to bring Members together, to celebrate and reinforce their love of learning, and conviviality.

In 2023, we are organising:

May 2023 Spring Lunch in The Close, Winchester Cathedral
Dr Luke Helmer spoke about the project to re-wild The Solent with oysters
June 2023 Summer Reception, Isle of Wight
July 2023 Summer Reception, Master’s Garden, Hospital of St Cross, Winchester
Drinks, canapes, jazz ensemble
July 2023 Visit to Rev Gilbert White’s House, Selborne
Talks about the house, the garden, and by the artist-in-residence Sophie Hacker
Sept 2023 Visit to a Hampshire vineyard
Tour and tasting
Sept 2023 Farewell to Freshers
Reception for the new crop of freshers, the week before they go up to Oxford
Nov 2023 Autumn Lecture, Itchen Abbas Village Hall
Rector Peter Walker speaks about the history of Jerusalem

In addition, individual Members do from time to time organise their own activities around matters of mutual interest such as music, politics or art.

For any enquiries or suggestions about Group events, contact the Membership Secretary.

All communications are channelled via the Membership Secretary using the following generic email address: