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The new term started with the pall of Covid - in its new Omicron variety - still hanging over us, as academics and students regathered. Both Oxford and Cambridge have, understandably, been taking a cautious approach to the new term - and what should pass as normal college life. But as infections begin to recede as I write this, and with the UK Government pressing the 'back to normal' button, so more and more activities are becoming visible in College quads and on Oxford streets.

The much-discussed Oxbridge Experience which involves not just the brilliant tutorials and lectures on offer, but all the opportunities for mixing across disciplinary boundaries and with fellow students from all over the world, from living in a college community, together with the endless social, political, sports, debate, arts theatre societies, almost unique, has been in a sort of deep freeze over 2020 and much of 2021.

Fresh air is now beginning to blow through the corridors, and our scholars will hopefully, once again, be able to take full advantage of what the Oxbridge Experience really entails. This is what past Noon Scholars have taken with them on their life journeys as a special gift and we want future scholars to be able to enjoy the full benefits too.

With All Good Wishes,

Dr Paul Flather

Chair, VNEF

Fellow, Mansfield College, Oxford

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