Student News : Oxford and Cambridge collaborate to battle rising tuition fees

Following the shocking news of Cambridge University’s fee rises and the growing concern over whether students can any longer justify the expense of studying at University, Young Academic has learnt that ‘Walking tours of Oxford and Cambridge’ has been launched. This scheme involves current students giving guided tours around their beloved cities in order to raise funds for their studies.

Oxbridge Tours is a social enterprise, formed in October 2010, to help students meet the rising cost of higher education by giving walking tours of Oxford and Cambridge. They work with corporate conference groups, schools and tourists to give an informative, educational and entertaining insight into academic life past and present.

The company was formed by Christopher Dobbing (Pembroke College) and Andrey Pronin (Fitzwilliam College) as a way to help students pay for the increasing cost of study without having to take too much time away from academic work.

“We restrict our guides to four hours per week during term time”, says Christopher Dobbing, the CEO of Oxbridge Tours, “It’s really important to us that fellow students are able to meet the costs of studying and also meet their academic commitments. With tips, guides can often earn enough to meet a week’s accommodation and living costs”, he stated.

The company offers an “Alumni Walk of Fame” tour which focuses on the famous members of the University and what they have done. It includes everything from the invention of the computer to the discovery of DNA and even the development of the modern rules of football. They also offer tours in Chinese and private tours for prospective parents/students.

“We wanted to give something back to Cambridge by showing visitors what a fantastic place this is to study in” said Andrey Pronin, the Director. “Using students as guides is a great way to give an exciting insight into the city, and people like to know their money is helping to fund someone’s studies”. With the cost of studying set to rise significantly, Oxbridge Tours is a way to meet increased costs, similar to the Work to Study programmes set up in the USA.

They hope to expand the model to other University Towns such as Edinburgh, Bath, Bristol and York under the Banner of VarCity Tours, and support students across the country. More information is on their website: www.OxbridgeTours.com. Tours can be booked online, or over the phone.

The MP of Cambridge, Julian Huppert, will be talking a tour on Monday 21st February from 1.30-3.30pm. Members of the press are invited to attend. Julian and Christopher will be giving interviews at the end of the tour in the Cambridge Union.

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