Ten Oxbridge Offers — Solihull Sixth Form College

Ten Oxbridge Offers

Ten learners at Solihull Sixth Form College have been successful in securing offers from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge this year, following a challenging application process.

Eight students are hoping to take up places at the University of Oxford and two have offers from the University of Cambridge this year. Six young people are pursuing STEM subjects, two hope to study languages and the other two have offers for creative and social science courses. All had to apply earlier than their peers and go through interviews and entrance exams.

Rohan Rana and Shakur Harrison both have offers to study Engineering at Oxford, although their offers are from different colleges. For Rohan, his offer for Engineering from Pembroke College, while Shakur’s offer is for Engineering Science at Keble College.

Rohan commented:

“I am very excited to have received a place to study Engineering at Oxford. The application process proved challenging at times which was overcome through much preparation. I am very grateful for the support I have received from both the Maths and Physics departments, especially from Physics teacher Rick, who held additional problem-solving sessions outside college hours. Advice to prospective applicants is to begin preparations as early as possible, believing in your abilities throughout the process.”

Shakur added:

“I can’t really believe I have an offer. The application process was quite long, as it included the early UCAS deadline, revising and sitting the PAT (test) and preparing for interviews, but it was spread out throughout the year so it was manageable. The Stretch and Challenge programme at College helped me understand the application process from quite early on, so I had enough time to prepare and my Physics teacher held regular problem-solving sessions and was available for any questions I had.”

Fellow learners Pascal Yuen, Dan Wormald, Musa Mohammed and Harry Cremins also have offers for STEM courses. Pascal’s offer is from New College Oxford to study Physics, Dan’s place is at St Catherine’s College Oxford to study Computer Science, while Musa and Harry have offers for Natural Sciences and Mathematics respectively, both from Cambridge.

Pascal commented:

“I made an Oxbridge application to challenge myself, knowing that I was capable to compete for a place. I’m feeling excited to study at New College and relieved that I got a place. The application process was quite challenging, but it was also a good experience to have, as it helps you to understand your abilities, expanding your knowledge related to the A level course and that is helpful revision for exams.”

Dan added:

“I applied because Oxford is seen as one of the best universities in the UK. I didn’t find the application process too difficult and I did well in my admissions test, for which I received a lot of support in preparation. Students who are thinking about applying in the future should make sure they actually want to go to Oxford before making an application, as it is a very different experience.”

Musa’s Cambridge offer is at Homerton College. He commented:

“I chose Cambridge as it is the best university for a prospective physicist. An Oxbridge application requires a lot of commitment, but if you are dedicated enough, the workload is easily manageable. My Physics teacher helped me a lot by introducing me to Year 13 Oxbridge applicants when I was in Year 12. My Further Maths class were also a big support. It was great being surrounded by like-minded people, all pushing each other to achieve our best and being on the Oxbridge journey together.”

Harry added:

“When I received my offer from Fitzwilliam College, I was relieved because in addition to getting an offer from Cambridge, it was from the college that I applied to. One form of support I was given was a mock admissions interview from one of the maths teachers, which gave me an idea of what sort of questions and maths problems would come up in the interview.”

The two students with offers for language courses are Sara Al-nemrat and Joe Creaton, both of whom have received offers from Oxford. Sara hopes to take up a place at Worcester College to read French and German, while Joe is looking to pursue a degree in Ancient Near Eastern Studies at University College.

Sara explained her motivation for making an Oxbridge application:

“I wanted to be taught by experts in their field and a degree from Oxford will hopefully be a good starting point to get a good job in the future. There were so many stages to the application, which made it difficult because I had to balance this with my A level workload. I received a lot of support from my subject teachers and I attended an interview exchange event at another school, which was incredibly helpful. I’m really grateful to my teachers for their support.”

Joe explained how his unusual course choice led to his application:

“I chose the course because I want to learn the languages and there was no other place that offered this course or one like it. I thought it would also be a good idea to get a degree with no practical application from a prestigious university. I found the application quite easy and not stressful, as I didn’t mind whether I got into Oxford or not. My advice to other students who are wondering whether to make an Oxbridge application or not is not to worry too much – find a course that you like just as much so you don’t feel like it’s the only option.”

Keziah Fatade is a Creative Arts student and she has an offer from St Hugh’s College Oxford, which she hopes might one day lead to becoming a composer for film and television.

She explained what she needed to do as part of her application:

“I wanted to aim high, but the application was quite hard. I submitted two essays, as well as a Bach chorale to show a basic understanding of harmony. I also did a performance video, submitted two of my compositions and completed four interviews. Although challenging, students should not be put off from applying. Don’t worry about it being too hard or that you’re not smart enough – just try your best. It is better to try and fail than not to try at all.”

Ahmed Abubeker is hoping to join Keziah at St Hugh’s College, but his offer is for the Archaeology and Anthropology degree and he hopes to pursue a career in Palaeontology in the future.

Ahmed commented:

“I feel pretty happy to have been successful in getting an offer. The application was pretty easy, with the most difficult part being the essays that had to be submitted. To prepare for the process I attended assemblies and was part of the Stretch & Challenge programme at College and that was extremely helpful.”

College Principal Martin Sullivan commented:

“Huge congratulations to all ten learners who have been successful in getting Oxbridge offers. This is the most offers we have received in a single year for many years and I do not doubt the hard work our young people have put in to get to this point. I know teachers and support staff have also put in a lot of time to support the students and it’s great to see that effort rewarded.”

12 February 2024