Top universities reach out to talent

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Some of the county’s brightest and most promising young minds have been given an insight into life at the world’s best universities.

In an initiative designed to show how Oxford and Cambridge universities are accessible to all the nation’s top students, Northallerton School & Sixth Form College staged an Oxbridge application workshop outreach session.

Students from schools across North Yorkshire were invited to the session hosted by Dr Joe Organ, of Brasenose College, Oxford University.

Current Oxbridge students helped Dr Organ deliver the seminar which addressed a host of issues from applications, personal statements and aptitude tests, to interviews, courses and student life.

Northallerton School & Sixth Form College has a history of sending its students to the country’s best centres of learning. It runs a special Johnson Group, which encourages students to aim high.

Teacher and organiser Anna Cox said: “It was great to see so many North Yorkshire students, including our own, attend the session and take part so actively in the activities.

“Oxford and Cambridge are undoubtedly among the best in the world and it would be easy for students to be in awe of them. But there is no reason at all why they should not try and secure a coveted place and sessions such as these really help boost their confidence.

“Northallerton School & Sixth Form College is hugely ambitious for the students and what they might achieve and this project is a good example of how we seek to raise aspirations for our young people.”

Dr Organ added: “We want students to appreciate just how accessible places are at Oxford and Cambridge, no matter where they live or their backgrounds.”

“We have plenty of students from Yorkshire. They are bright people and add so much to the life of both universities.”

Students were warned to expect the university studies to be much different from A Levels and accept their marks could be lower.

Tests and interviews were designed to make them think outside normal parameters and they should trust their instincts to be creative with their replies.