Oxbridge Bound for Penwith College Students

Four Penwith College students are included in Truro and Penwith College’s record number of 24 students who have received offers for Oxford and Cambridge Universities in 2018.

Caitlin McMahon, a former Humphry Davy School pupil, has been offered Veterinary Sciences at Cambridge University (Newham College); Tean Manser, who arrived at Penwith College from Mounts Bay Academy is reading Human, Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge University (Girton College); former Helston School pupil Tallulah Haslam has been offered Law at Cambridge University (Peterhouse College) and fellow student Ananda Lee, formerly a Mounts Bay Academy pupil will study Theology and Oriental Studies at Oxford University (Lady Margaret Hall).

Each year many high achieving students gain places at both Oxbridge and The Russell Group universities through support and advice from Truro and Penwith College. Specialised support is on offer for students wishing to apply to Oxford and Cambridge and to other courses with entrance exams and interviews. This includes one to one tutor support, the Academic Academy, to stretch and challenge the most able students, and the Medics’ Academy, an additional dedicated programme to support those intending to study Medicine.

Tamsin Hamilton, Programme Team Leader for A level at Penwith College, said: “At Penwith College we are all enormously proud of the achievement of Ananda, Caitlin, Tallulah and Tean. In gaining offers for such highly competitive courses at Oxford and Cambridge, they have demonstrated themselves to be superb scholars, capable of achieving success at the highest level.

“Since joining the College, all four students have made the most of the additional opportunities we offer and I would like to extend particular thanks to our Oxbridge mentor at Penwith, Dr. Vanessa Hager in helping to prepare our students so well for the whole application process.”

For student Tallulah, it was this support that proved so pivotal to her being offered a place: “Prior to coming to Penwith College I hadn’t really considered applying to Oxford or Cambridge,” she said. “My lecturers here encouraged me and I decided to go for it. I really enjoyed the written tests but the interview was really nerve-wracking.”

Student Caitlin said she was pleasantly surprised when her offer came through: “I am looking forward to going to Cambridge to study veterinary sciences. Whilst it had always been in my plan to go to Cambridge I was still surprised when the offer came through as competition is so high for places on my course.  I hope that in the future I can use my qualification to work in conservation which ideally will take me to New Zealand.”

Tean added: “I have dreamed of going to an Oxbridge University since I was at secondary school. It feels a bit surreal that I have been offered a place – all I have to do now is get the grades.”

For Ananda, receiving her offer was a dream come true. “I wanted the opportunity to lean a non-Latin based language at university which is why I have chosen oriental studies,” she said. “I love the subject of religion and am looking forward to exploring a whole variety of religions and religious philosophies in greater depth. I had always dreamed of going to Oxford University. Unlike the others, I had no written test but had three interviews before I was offered a place. I had a week up in Oxford which allowed me not only to attend the interviews but also to take time to enjoy the city of Oxford and get my bearings.”

The four are building on the successes of last year's Oxbridge entries from Penwith College where Oliver Nixon, who now studies Philosophy, Politics and Economy at Oxford University (Magdalen College), Elliot Wade studies Philosophy at Cambridge University (Pembroke College), and Ben George studies Medicine at Oxford University (Corpus Christi) we are delighted that four candidates have a conditional offer of places on highly competitive courses to begin in September 2018.