Oxbridge P1013319Oxford and Cambridge Universities have offered places to two Uxbridge College students.

A-level students Timothy Harding (pictured right) and Hasibullah Samsor (middle) have proved their non-traditional backgrounds in education are no bar to gaining entry to the world-class institutions.

Their offers show that ‘Oxbridge’ is a real option for any capable student, challenging common misconceptions about ‘typical’ undergraduates being from private schools. While the universities do see more applications from the independent sector, numbers from state schools are steadily increasing. Neither Timothy nor Hasibullah gained the high numbers of top grade GCSEs often believed necessary, and both took time out of education before studying A-levels at Uxbridge College.

Timothy (24), from Pinner, who has received an offer to read Physics at Brasenose College, Oxford, admits to being “not particularly well-behaved” at sixth form, where he failed to meet his academic potential, and at the time felt strongly that university was not for him. He took time out and worked in various jobs, including as a shop assistant and a lifeguard, before making the decision to aim for Oxford and returning to study.

Hasibullah (21), from Ruislip, who is due to go to Girton College, Cambridge, to read Engineering, came to the UK from Afghanistan three years ago. He worked in retail, earning his way while battling visa restrictions which prevented him from coming to College.

Timothy said: “I really didn’t think I was going to get in as my GCSEs are mostly Bs, including a B in physics, and I've had to do my A-levels twice, but Oxbridge entry is not about your background and qualifications. In fact 90% of the entry requirement is to do with the admissions test and interview process. Oxford and Cambridge are looking for well-rounded people, so whatever you’ve been doing in past years and even if your GCSEs aren’t that good, you can still do it.”

Hasibullah said: “At first, I did not think of going to Cambridge because I was not aware of how the system worked, but I got a lot of help and support from the College. Getting into Cambridge is not only about your grades, which are only a fraction of the process. The whole process includes several tests and the main part is the interview - if you do consider applying, you must keep these things in mind. I have learned that if you want your studies to help you further in life, you have to study very hard to overcome the competition - and hard work always pays off. Uxbridge College is one of the best Colleges and I can say that from my own experience.”

Both students had to pass the universities’ admission exams and get through stringent interviews with a panel of academics, and their offers are conditional - Hasibullah’s on gaining three A* grades and Timothy’s on gaining one A* and two A grades. Both students were given support in preparing for interview from Amanda Washbrook (pictured left), herself a Cambridge graduate.

Amanda Washbrook, Head of Uxbridge College Academy, the department which teaches A-levels, GCSEs and vocational science, said: “When students are making the choice of where to study A Levels they don’t always realise that Uxbridge College offers a route to many prestigious and world-class universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. We always offer the highest level of support to students wanting to do this, in their academic studies, through the UCAS process, and in preparing for any entrance tests and interviews. Huge congratulations to Timothy and Hasibullah whom I am sure will make the very best of their time at university and whose success will certainly inspire other students to aim high.”


October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010