Oxford Summer Courses, a growing education provider founded by two Oxford graduates, has won an award for outstanding achievement in the International Trade category of this year’s Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.
The awards recognise the commercial success of British companies in international trade as well as their commitment to corporate social responsibility.
The Oxford-based firm has grown exponentially since it was founded by Harry Hortyn and his school friend Robert Phipps, offering holiday-time courses for nine to 24-year-olds in the colleges of the UK’s top universities.
Now part of the Bridgemark Education Group, Oxford Summer Courses is the fastest growing privately owned education company in the UK. Its courses attract students from across the world who want to experience the education and teaching traditions of globally renowned universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and Stanford in the USA.
Co-founder and CEO of Bridgemark Education, Harry Hortyn, thinks that the people the company employs to organise and deliver its courses helped it to clinch the win. “We’re immensely proud to join the impressive roster of past Queen’s Award winners. We dedicate this achievement to our indefatigable team whose passion for education and commitment to quality is the foundation of our success.
“We will use our newfound status to help take Oxford Summer Courses online, to open up exceptional education to every knowledge hungry student.”
Robert Phipps, co-founder and CEO of Bridgemark Education, continued: “I too am delighted that the quality of the student experiences we offer has been recognised with this award. It’s testament to the hard work of our staff, who spend months planning and preparing the courses, and the seasonal staff and tutors who deliver such exceptional educational experiences for the students.”
The company’s residential courses take place in some of the most picturesque locations in the UK as well as India, Singapore and the USA. Recent expansions to the business include an online course programme called Melio, which covers subjects such as business and entrepreneurship and offers students who are unable to travel the same experience of learning with an Oxbridge tutor online. Another new offering, O-Labs, gives students the chance to attend one to five-day courses in science, technology, engineering and maths.
Harry Hortyn and Robert Phipps also established a charity, Universify Education, in 2016 to increase the numbers of students from more diverse backgrounds attending highly selective universities. The organisation runs a year-long programme for 15 and 16-year-olds, which includes mentoring and residential stays at a top university over the summer.
The coaching and activities are designed to give young people the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a university student at a learning institution like Oxford, with the aim of encouraging them to consider applying when they leave school. “Our mission is to open up access to exceptional education. We believe that transformative learning experiences should not be the preserve of a lucky few,” says Harry Hortyn. You can get more information at: www.oxfordsummercourses.com.