Record breaking number of students are heading to Oxbridge

No less than 24 students from Truro and Penwith College, the highest number to-date, have been offered places at two of the most prestigious universities in the world, Oxford and Cambridge.

This record number comes after the most competitive year ever, with Oxbridge applications up by 7% nationally. The extensive and demanding application process of entry tests and interviews did nothing to slow the College down, with the proportions of College applications securing offers reaching well in excess of the national rate.

Andy Stittle, Director of Teaching and Learning for the College, said: “Nationally, applications to Oxford and Cambridge surged this year to over 60,000, with increases across all subject areas. It is therefore remarkable that, despite the intense competition, students of this College have received more offers than ever. The College’s extensive programme for University application support is extensive and was recognised in the College’s recent inspection report, which described this specialist support and guidance for learners as ‘exceptional’.

“It is also important to remember the wider context of the College’s high levels of success in securing places at the most competitive and selective universities as over a quarter of all students leaving last September for higher education attended institutions in the prestigious Russell Group.”

The group of students come from across Cornwall, with 20 of them attending Truro College and four attending Penwith College, and are looking to study a number of diverse subjects at Oxbridge including Medicine, Psychology, Economics, Philosophy, History, Music, Languages, Physics, Maths and Engineering.

Lowenna Renals from St Kew, who previously attended Wadebridge School, has been offered a place at Oxford to study Medicine. Lowenna says: “I’ve wanted to go to Oxford since I was in Year 10 and I chose Medicine because I love science and would like a career helping people. Emily Myatt, the Medics’ Academy lead, was a huge help through my application and Lowenna Bradley, the Academic’s Academy lead, helped me practise interviews. I loved visiting Oxford so I was so excited when I found out, although it’s also quite scary.”

Eloise Ireland from Devoran, who previously studied at Richard Lander School, has been offered a place to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, a decision she made after one of her modules on the IB Diploma. “I chose PPE because I really like Global Politics on the IB and I want to work in diplomacy. After university I would like to go to Sciences Po in Paris to do a Masters in International Relations.”

Academic’s Academy member and IB student Maggie Sykes from Perranporth has been offered a place at Cambridge to read Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. “I chose this subject because of the combination of Anthropology and Languages, my favourite subjects,” said Maggie. “I also want to learn Arabic and would like to become a humanitarian aid after university.”

Daisy Lynch from Lelant, who previously went to St Ives School, decided she wanted to go to Oxford in Year 6, a dream that has become one step closer after she received an offer to read Ancient and Modern History there. “It’s unbelievable,” began Daisy. “I thought I’d messed up my interview so I was really shocked.”

Megan Glover from Falmouth, who attended Penryn College before Truro College, has been offered a place to study History at Cambridge. Megan says: “My tutor and Oxbridge mentor Euan helped with my application and motivation throughout the process. Getting the offer was unexpected but it’s given me a sense of pride in achievement.”

Former Mullion School student Ishbel Jamieson from St Keverne was thrilled to receive her offer of studying Physics at Oxford, saying: “Getting the offer was surreal, I still can’t quite believe it. I chose Physics because maths and problem solving have always been something I’ve enjoyed and Physics offered a creative approach to both.”

Liam Kristoffy from St Agnes has been offered a place at Cambridge studying Engineering. Liam says: “The College helped with the application process by giving me a tutor to help with my personal statement and interview. Getting the offer was shocking but exciting. I look forward to Engineering because I enjoy maths and technical subjects but also want something practical that involves some creativity.”

Andrew Jenkins from St Ives has also been offered a place at Cambridge to study Engineering. He also found the College’s support helpful throughout the application process, saying: “There was plenty of information and encouragement. We had help preparing for interview and our personal statement. We also had a visit at the end of the first year.”

David Walrond, College Principal, said: “Congratulations go to all the students who I know would join me in giving special thanks to all the staff involved in the support programme for potential Oxbridge applicants. This includes visits from and to the universities, pre-interview test and application support, 1-1 mentoring, talks from current Oxbridge students, and mock interviews with outside specialist help and the involvement of our governors.”

It's not just students who have had commending news surrounding Oxbridge recently. Matthew Bennett, Deputy Team Leader of Science and lecturer at Truro College was recently nominated for an Oxford University Inspirational Teachers Award.

The nomination came from one of his former students, Damien, who is currently studying at Oxford. Within the nomination Matthew was described as “really enthusiastic” with an open door policy “despite being busy with his three demanding roles”. Damien explains how he “would not have made it into Oxford if it were not for his support”, a glowing praise that definitely highlights Matthew as an inspirational teacher who represents the College’s approach to its student support.