U of S gives students chance to be an Oxford scholar

Two University of Saskatchewan students may be selected to study at the prestigious English school for a year, beginning in the fall of 2014.

The University of Saskatchewan has partnered with United Kingdom's prestigious Oxford University

The University of Saskatchewan has made a deal with one of the world’s most famous and prestigious academic institutions.

Come the fall semester of 2014, two U of S students could find themselves on their way to study at Oxford University’s St Anne’s College, for a year.

It's part of a new deal the U of S has made with the top-tier university, and it's the first and only Canadian institution to offer a full year of academic study at the college.

Gingi Sheppard, manager of the International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) at the U of S, says the partnership offers a life changing opportunity for a select few at the U of S.

The U of S can now add Oxford University to the hundreds of post secondary schools around the world that it has study abroad agreements with. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

"We had an overwhelming response from students in the beginning," Sheppard said. "We have about nine applicants that we can forward on to be selected, hopefully, by Oxford."

In order to be eligible, students had to have an average of 80 per cent or higher.

Sheppard says that the cost of the study abroad term will be the biggest challenge for the successful applicants. The tuition for a year of study at the British school is GBP $25K, or roughly CAD $40K.

"It is a hefty price tag and we want to make sure that this opportunity is not just for students who can afford it," Sheppard said.

Although it is expensive, academics at the U of S believe it is worth the money.

"They match every visiting student with what they call a tutor," Sheppard explained. "It is the equivalent for us of a Masters supervisor, but this is at the Undergraduate level."

In April, Gingi Sheppard expects to know if any of the qualifying students has been invited to study at Oxford.

The University of Saskatchewan says Oxford's St. Anne's College was interested in partnering with them because of their Aboriginal programming and services.