The Oxford Alternative Prospectus is an IT Innovation project run by student Greg Auger. It was successfully completed in February 2016 when the online Prospectus was launched.
The Oxford Alternative Prospectus
The Alternative Prospectus offers potential applicants information from the perspective of current students, complementing the official prospectus. It has been around as a printed publication for over thirty years. It offers a wealth of information and perspectives about the University, Student Life, Courses, and Colleges, all supplied by current students.
The IT Innovation project has created a digital, web-based version of the Alternative Prospectus, making the information easier to find and use. Being freed from the limitations of the printed page, allows for more students to be given a voice, and more detailed information than it has been possible to offer in previous print versions.
The project was run by Greg Auger, who worked with Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) and hundreds of students who provided information for the prospectus. The result can be seen at http://apply.ousu.org/. This website will be run and maintained by OUSU.
Tips from the project manager for future projects
- For a website (or other communication project), it is not only content that matters. Design is critical too. If your skills are primarily technical, it would be worth recruiting someone with experience in design.
- Be aware that when you are collaborating with others, whether they have small or large parts to play, you need to ask well in advance (and agree timescales with them).
The Alternative Prospectus couldn’t exist without the hundreds of students who contributed to it. Particular credit must go to Jess Sinyor (editor) and Natalie Harney (designer), both for their work on the print version, and their help applying this to the website. The staff at OUSU were fabulous, in particular Katy Law (Digital Communications Coordinator) and Amelia Foster (CEO). But my greatest thanks must go to Cat Jones (OUSU Vice-President for Access and Academic Affairs) for her encouragement, guidance and collaboration with stakeholders throughout the University.