Oxbridge is in reach for 20 talented students

A group of 20 students from a local College are over the moon after finding out they have received offers to study at Oxford and Cambridge this September, two of the world’s most prestigious universities.

The students, who are studying a range of courses across both the Truro and Penwith campuses including A Levels and the IB Diploma, have once again helped the College to maintain its very high Oxbridge acceptance rate, despite the effects of the pandemic.   

The group of students come from across Cornwall and are looking to study a number of diverse subjects at Oxford and Cambridge, including Medicine, Geography, Biochemistry, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, English, Law and Maths.   

Each year many high achieving students gain places at both Oxbridge and The Russell Group universities through the support, advice and guidance offered at the College. Specialised support is on offer for students wishing to apply to Oxford and Cambridge and to other courses with mock entrance exams and interviews.   

20 talented students are over the moon after finding out they have received offers to study at Oxbridge

Harry Payton, from St. Austell, is studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths A Levels and received an offer to study Medicine at Peterhouse College, Cambridge University. Harry was incredibly happy when he found out he’d received an offer to Cambridge and was particularly thankful to the Medics’ Academy team who helped him throughout the application process.   

He shared: “Medics’ academy provided a lot, such as a mock interview for Cambridge which I found really useful. When I was actually in College, they taught us medical ethics which I found was invaluable for my interview”.  

Inspired by the effects of the pandemic, Harry would like to specialise in immunology after qualifying in hopes that he will one day be able to contribute towards the fight against global disease.   


A Level student Amelie Harris-Lovett, from Perranporth, who is studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths at Truro College, was delighted to accept her offer to Oxford University to study Biochemistry. It was after enjoying a very inspiring Science lecture at Truro College, as well as taking part in the College’s German exchange programme, that Amelie became inspired to pursue Science at a higher level.   

She shared: “It took one incredibly inspiring Biology lecturer to make me really excited about the subject. His enthusiasm and clear passion for the subject made me excited for every lesson. It was because of this I decided to go on the German exchange trip, where I was able to get a real taste for Science at a university level”.    

 “It was an invaluable trip as I finally found something I was certain I would enjoy at university”.  

Zoe George, who is from Penzance and studying A Levels in Maths, Biology and Geography at Penwith College, will also be taking her Science knowledge to the next level, after receiving an offer to study Biology at Oxford University.  

She shared that she was really grateful for all of the support she received throughout the application process: 

The College was really supportive throughout the application process.

Zoe George, Penwith College A Level Student

"They've supported me with mock interviews as well as helping with my personal statement. I’m really thankful to my lecturers at Penwith for their help”.   

Joe Whitby, who is from St. Just and is studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry A Levels at Penwith College, was very happy when he found out he’d received an offer to study Physical Natural Sciences at St John’s College, Cambridge.  

He shared: “I can’t trick myself into thinking this was all about me because I had so much help from Penwith, like my tutor and my lecturers all helping me, it’s been amazing at Penwith".  

“The team at Penwith are also generally so amazing and I’ve loved the campus here too. It’s got such a friendly atmosphere”.  

Four of the College’s students studying the IB Diploma, a qualification that allows students to continue studying a broad range of subjects at a higher level, also received offers to the prestigious universities.   

Scarlett Hughes, from Fowey, accepted an offer to study Human, Social, and Political Sciences at Cambridge University after finding herself enjoying the topics while studying them for the IB.   

“I found myself really enjoying debating and discussing complex topics in class. I’ve often felt that I learn just as much from the contributions people make during lectures as I do from lecturers themselves. That’s what has been so great about the IB Diploma”.   

She’s also thankful for the amount of support she received from her lecturers throughout her time at the College.   

One of best things I’ve experienced in my time at Truro College has definitely been the lecturers.

Scarlett Hughes, IB Diploma student

"They’ve all been brilliant both in an academic and pastoral sense".   

James Macnab, who is from Mitchell and studying the IB Diploma, was incredibly excited to receive his offer to study Biochemistry at Oxford.  

For anyone who is thinking of doing the IB Diploma, James shared his words of wisdom: “I’d say that it is hard work and there is no getting around that, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a rewarding opportunity. It opens a lot of doors because it’s so prestigious and it’s so broad.  

“The IB Diploma is also great if you’re looking to make a lot of good friendships and want to keep your options open after College”.  

Angie Liversedge, Oxbridge and IB Coordinator at the College shared: “We are absolutely delighted with the success of our students in securing places across all subject disciplines, including Medicine, PPE and Mathematics. Nationally, the competition for places at Oxford and Cambridge is fierce, with a success rate of just over 20%”.

“It is therefore remarkable that, despite this intense competition, one quarter of our Oxbridge applications received offers, despite the challenges of lockdown this academic year and last. Students have had to cope with a great deal of disruption to their lives from the pandemic but due to their admirable commitment and tenacity throughout the application process, including undertaking interviews remotely, they have achieved a superb outcome.   

 “We congratulate all those who made an application this year. Our thanks also go to all those involved in providing our Oxbridge applicants with extensive extra support. This has included virtual visits from admission tutors and ex-Truro and Penwith students from Oxbridge Colleges, and also practice interviews from governors, staff and external experts, carried out via the internet.  

“All this took place within the wider context of the College’s programme for university applications, described in our most recent inspection as ‘exceptional’ and has been supported by the College’s continued excellence in remote learning”.