An overview of life at university was given to students at a Doncaster academy, and their parents, at an information evening with special guests.
Representatives from Hull, Leeds, Oxford and Cambridge Universities spoke frankly to Y11 pupils at Trinity Academy, Thorne. Ways of financing a degree were introduced by Nicola Beech, undergraduate HE finance officer at Hull University. Then Helen Brooks, access administrator at Oxford University, teamed up with Emma Smith, schools liaison officer at Cambridge University, to dispel myths.
Emma, who went to a state school in Halifax, said: “A lot of people worry that Oxbridge universities are full of posh people and they won’t fit in. I wasn’t going to apply, but I did and somehow got an offer and the grades to go to Cambridge. I never felt like I didn’t fit in and loved it so much that I’m selling it to other students. People fear they won’t have much free time but you can have a great social life. There is also a lot of support from tutors, mentors and counsellors, and funds to help financially.”
Students were advised to research into the content and assessment of courses, and to find out entry requirements and what universities are looking for in candidates.
Helen Brooks added: “It’s never too early to start thinking about what you’re interested in. I recommend talking out loud about your subject to friends and family and developing your opinions and arguments.
“Every applicant is assessed individually and the tutors use all sorts of data and information to build up a picture of you.”