Working with Schools

RAI students

Promoting greater public understanding of the United States and its history, culture and politics is at the heart of the RAI’s mission.

As part of this commitment, we welcome school students to study in the Vere Harmsworth Library (by arrangement with the Librarian) or to participate in special events at the Institute.

Each year the RAI hosts Congress to Campus. This event brings two former Members of Congress to the Institute to share their insights and experiences with local school students.

In recent years, the RAI welcomed groups of visiting students from the following schools, colleges and academies:

  • Alder Grange School (Rossendale, Lancashire)
  • Bartholomew School (Eynsham, Oxfordshire)
  • Bromsgrove School (Bromsgrove, Worcestershire)
  • Caroline Chisholm School (Northampton)
  • Cheney School (Oxford)
  • The Cherwell School (Oxford)
  • The Cooper School (Bicester, Oxfordshire)
  • The John Lyon School (London)
  • Oakgrove School (Milton Keynes)
  • Old Swinford Hospital School (Stourbridge, West Midlands)
  • Perry Beeches Free School (Birmingham)
  • Radley College (Oxfordshire)
  • The UCL Academy (London)
  • The University College School
  • The Westminster Academy (London)

"It was a great opportunity for students to engage in the work of real historians. As well as giving them a taster of university life, it allowed them to engage with the type of materials that are unavailable to us in school."

Teacher from The Cooper School, Bicester

"I was overwhelmed by the amount of books that were in the library - it is amazing to think that it is not far from us but that we never knew it was there." "I wish that I could work there every day. It has a great working environment - it makes you want to work and read more"

Students from The Cooper School, Bicester, who visited the Vere Harmsworth Library to work on A-Level projects on the US Civil Rights movement

The Institute has also been home to the university’s annual UNIQ Outreach Programme in History. This week-long programme is designed to encourage talented school students from less privileged backgrounds to apply to university.

If you are a teacher and would like to find out more about school visits to the RAI to use its resources or to participate in special events, please email

"I was ambitious beforehand, but this week has only reinforced my belief that Oxford is definitely accessible to state school students." "It has encouraged me to apply, and has been very inspiring and enjoyable. I feel fortunate, privileged and grateful to have had the opportunity."

Students on the UNIQ Summer Schools at the RAI