Nearly fifty budding detectives will take part in the “Murder in the Cloisters” scheme, a free course which aims to show pupils aged 12-15 what university life is like, both academically and socially.
However, the usual Oxford routine of tutes and lectures will be interrupted when a student is found dead in the college quad.
The students will take part in activities all over the university over the three day course, such as practicing forensic science in one of the chemistry labs, and a crash course in Ancient Greek, acquiring skills which will be essential to helping them solve the case.
Participants will have to stay vigilant in their downtime too, as the suspects will make appearances round college, and at a formal dinner.
A cast of suspects and police detectives will be played by the Oxford Imps, the improvisational comedy troupe.
As part of the university’s access scheme, the group will include 10 young carers from the Oxford area – part of a programme of activities for local pupils with caring responsibilities the University launched in 2011.
Tara Prayag, Head of Widening Participation at Oxford, said: “Normal university life at Oxford doesn’t involve investigating murders, but who doesn’t like a bit of sleuthing? This event gives young people an exciting experience of university life as they work together to find the answers. It’s a little bit of Inspector Morse, a little bit of CSI, and hopefully a lot of fun for the participants.”
The scheme aims to give an insight into Oxford life for those who have no family history of higher education. Tara added: “It’s a fun and interactive way of experiencing the University and our world class facilities.
She thanked the college for agreeing once more to act as the scene of the crime: “We are really lucky that Pembroke College has once again agreed to play host to this event as it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the very best that Oxford has to offer. Oxford University, and its Colleges, are committed to widening participation to further and higher education with events such as Murder in the Cloisters, allow us to introduce University in a fun and informative way.”