Students are being given a better opportunity to get a spot at the best universities thanks to the launch of a new programme.

Blackburn College is set to become a hub for the prestigious ‘OxNet’ programme, which will help students from across Blackburn, Darwen, Hyndburn and Rossendale get information and advice about applying to Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group universities.

The college will act as a central hub for partner schools who will take part in the programme. Partner schools include Accrington Academy, Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, Haslingden High School, St Christopher’s C of E High School Academy, St Wilfred’s C of E Academy and Tauheedul Girls.

The OxNet programme is an intensive 12-month academic programme for year 12 pupils living in the North West, North East and London, which leads to a residential at Pembroke College at Oxford University. The course involves a mixture of study days, essays, series, Easter conferences, summer schools and talks.

The launch of the OxNet programme will take place on Thursday, October 7, at Blackburn College's University Centre.

Attending the launch event will be Dr Peter Claus, an Oxford Access Fellow from Pembroke College who runs the project who will give details about the OxNet programme, and former Blackburn College student Dr Helen McCabe, who will share her experiences of attending Oxford University.

High Achievers Coordinator, David Jones said: "It's an honour to become the local hub for the OxNet programme.

“The programme will provide an opportunity for students across the area to get a better insight into life at top universities including Oxford, as well as giving guidance on the university application process.

“One of the highlights of the programme is the summer school trip to Pembroke College where students will get first-hand experience of Oxford University."