Help Your Child Get Accepted to Oxbridge

Help Your Child Get Accepted to Oxbridge

Oxbridge University What's new?

At GT Scholars, over the past few years, we’ve helped hundreds of young people aspiring to get into Oxbridge. In this blog, we’ll be sharing some need-to-know information about increasing your child’s chances of being accepted into an Oxbridge College.

Why Should You Apply to Oxbridge?

It is a common misconception that Oxbridge is only open to families of the elite and the rare child who understands quantum physics at age of three! However, this is definitely a misconception. Oxford and Cambridge University, just like any other university in the world, are places of learning for individuals with a curious mind.

So, what’s the difference between Oxbridge and many other universities? It’s the high standard of education, the rich history and the many traditions that Oxbridge has kept, dating back hundreds of years. Alumni from these institutions have gone on to become some of the world’s greatest contributors to modern society. 

There’s no denying that the quality of education at Oxbridge is what makes them two of the highest-ranked universities in the world. Being offered admission to study at either of them is quite an achievement in itself.

What Are the Admission Rates at Oxbridge?

There’s no denying that almost every student aspires to study at one of these prestigious universities. This means applications are extremely high. Below is a table of applications and admission rates to both universities for the 2021 term. 

Oxford Cambridge
Applications 23,414 22,788
Acceptances 3,932 4,245
Admission rate  16.79%


With an average admission rate of about 17% overall, it’s quite intimidating. And, there are various factors to consider, like the 80 different courses that one could apply for. The admission rate within these courses ranges from 4% to 50%. Looking at these statistics, it is clear that only the best-prepared students are accepted. 

How Does the Oxbridge College System Work?

This structure at Oxbridge is unique. Oxford and Cambridge are made of different colleges. There are 45 in Oxford and 31 in Cambridge to be exact. Colleges are a collection of historic buildings that form little communities where students live on campus.  

This setup gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their studies by being surrounded by like-minded individuals. This adds to their personal development and growth.  

This college system works because it allows students to live amongst each other forming a support structure, socially and academically. It also has the essentials that students require to excel in their chosen studies such as 24-hour libraries and computer centres. Colleges can house between 300 to 500 students, which is a combination of both undergraduates and graduates studying different subjects.

Choosing the Right College

All students at Oxbridge become part of a department or faculty and college or hall. When filling out an application, applicants are asked to choose a college they would like to be part of. This will not affect their field of study and is based on their preference. 

Each college has different attributes that appeal to students. Some of the factors to consider are the size of the colleges, funding and facilities, accommodation and access. 

Applicants are not guaranteed a place at their preferred college, and they may even get offers from other colleges. Students can also state on their application, for the admissions department to find a college best suited to their application. 

We suggest doing research on each college and finding the one that resonates with your child. Click on the link for a list of colleges for Oxford and Cambridge and what they entail.   

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”.

This means that in order to achieve what we set out to do, we must prepare – “Sharpen the axe”. When put this into the context of trying to get into Oxbridge the sharpening of the tools is the most vital step in achieving this goal.

How Can I Increase My Child’s Chances of Getting In?

Support from parents and teachers is vital in preparing children for Oxbridge. Below are some ways that they can help

Start preparation early

To study at Oxbridge, it is not just the early bird that catches the worm, but the early, prepared bird. Dr Samina Khan, head of student admissions at Oxford, believes that children should start preparing for Oxbridge at the age of 11, and not just when they reach the sixth form. 

Children need ample time to develop and master their passion for subjects. This helps to give them an advantage over others during interviews and applications. Thus, parents should make sure that their aspiring children start preparation early.

Provide additional resources 

To stand out, prospective students need to show true mastery of and passion for the subject that relates to their desired degree programme. To develop this mastery, students should go over and beyond their high school curriculum. 

Their parents can support them by funding their specific extracurricular activities, providing them with books and research resources, and allowing them to do voluntary or even paid work. 

For example, if a student wants to study medicine at Oxbridge, their parents can fund extra science classes, provide them with books and supplies that will increase their skills. They can also encourage them to volunteer at hospitals and other health facilities.

Inform them of their choices

It is important that children are not just prepared for Oxbridge, but also prepared for the journey to Oxbridge. Children need to know what they need to achieve and how much work they will need to put in for them to realise their aspirations. 

Informing children well in advance of the responsibilities of choosing Oxbridge can help to avoid building too much pressure on them during preparation. 

Pressure on any person has damaging effects, but pressure on children to achieve something has lasting negative effects on their young minds and their future. It is also important to know the difference between informing and discouraging children, as you do not want to discourage a child from having aspirations.

Take a tour of Oxbridge

Parents can encourage an interest in Oxbridge by visiting the institutions with their children. Dr Khan noted that children are growing up in an age of Harry Potter, where the traditions and historical appeal of Hogwarts are appreciated and desired. 

Unlike Hogwarts, Oxford and Cambridge are real places of learning. But they still have the charm and beauty of tradition and magical gothic architecture. Visiting would create a desire that will encourage children to earnestly put their minds to get a place. Follow the link for more information on visiting and tour times for Oxford or Cambridge.

Do your own research

The application process is difficult and lengthy. There are forms to fill out and documents to get and interviews to prepare for. It is a daunting task for a child. Parents have more experience with filling out forms and doing interviews. So, they should find out what they need and start collecting documents well in advance so as to decrease the load on their child. Parents should also do research on funding, scholarships, accommodation and other matters well in advance to prepare accordingly.

Get them a mentor

Parents may not know everything. Perhaps they did not go to Oxbridge or they did not go to university at all. And they may not know how to advise their aspiring children. Thus, getting a mentor for their children would do wonders in providing them with all the necessary skills and knowledge they’ll need. 

The mentor could be an Oxbridge alumnus or even educated in the field of interest. This could help them with the application process with resources of interest. It can also help to guide them in the right direction and boost their confidence.

Enrol them in a course or workshop

With 46 000 undergraduate applicants, it would make sense that many prospective students are seeking help when applying to Oxbridge. Thus, there are many courses and workshops available that provide valuable assistance such as developing an outstanding personal statement and how to prepare for interviews. These courses and workshops can also provide important insider information and bursary opportunities. 

Parents provide a vital support system when their children are applying to any university. This support system becomes even more important when applying to Oxbridge due to the high number of applicants, which creates a considerable amount of pressure on children. As you can see, there are several ways parents can make an Oxbridge education possible for their child, which can almost guarantee them to have a bright and prosperous future.

In Conclusion 

The best way to increase your child’s chances of getting into Oxbridge is to be prepared. Learn as much as you can about the application process, courses and key dates. Speak to Oxbridge students and alumni about their journeys into Oxbridge and what helped them gain entry to these universities

GT Scholars know the importance of preparing students for Oxbridge and want to be a helpful part of the journey. We provide a one-day course on how to get into Oxbridge which includes working with Oxbridge graduates, admissions professionals and interview professionals that will show your child how to develop an outstanding personal statement and how to choose a degree course for their chosen career. They will also support your child with preparing for interviews and give advice on A-level subjects and grades required for specific universities and specific courses.

To find out more about the How to Get Into Oxbridge course, contact us here. We also provide an excellent mentorship programme that employs a variety of well-educated and knowledgeable mentors that will give your child the edge over any other Oxbridge applicant. You can find out more about the mentorship programme here.

Think you don’t need maths tutoring? Think again!

Think you don’t need maths tutoring? Think again!

Growth mindset Post 16 Private tutoring University What's new? Young people

Imagine for a moment that you are sitting in a restaurant. A waiter walks over to your table to take your order, “One double cheeseburger, a medium chips and a regular coke, please”, the waiter jots down the order and reads it back to you, you nod, satisfied and he walks off. As you sit there waiting for your food, the restaurant starts to fill up, a family of four take the table to your left. A young couple is guided to a table directly in front of you. There is a group of ladies; celebrating a bachelorette party, fourteen in total guided to a collection of tables lined up in the centre of the room.

More people come and a few leave as you sit there an hour later and still no food. You notice that the young couple, sitting opposite from you, is staring lovingly into each other’s eyes over two orders of delicious looking ribs and mashed potatoes. You look at the table with the bachelorette and her posse, where one of the ladies is making a toast as the others enjoy an array of starters.

You look to the family of four, study their frowns, their “plateless” table and think to yourself at least you are not alone; they too, are victims of this appalling service. At least that is until your waiter arrives at their table, their orders on a tray. Fuming now, you wait until they are served and then call your waiter over to your table. “What in the world is going on, where is my food?” you demand. The waiter looks at you as if you are crazy, absolutely bonkers, “What are you talking about sir, the chef is starting on your order as we speak?”

“Starting, he is only starting!” You shout, shocked by the complete disregard for you, the casual dismissiveness of your waiter’s answer and the outright injustice of it all. “I’ve been here for over an hour, most of the people you have served came after me, I was first and yet they get their food before me…” “So what?” your waiter says, cutting you off mid-sentence. Of course, you can’t believe what he just said; you are at a loss for words. Your waiter looks toward three of his colleagues approaching, trays overloaded with soft drinks, ten double cheeseburgers and eighteen medium packets of chips

Your waiter smiles, “Here comes your order sir,” he tells you. “This is not my order,” you say as the three waiters carrying the trays begin to offload on your table. “What do you mean sir?” Your waiter seems genuinely surprised, “Did you not order, double cheeseburgers, medium chips and cokes.” “I ordered one double cheeseburger, one medium chips and one regular coke, not this mess.”  You are yelling now, beyond boiling point. “But sir, what difference does it make, whether we serve you first or last, two cheeseburgers or ten?” Your waiter asks sincerely, “Are you not the one who said, you do not need math?” You just sit there, unable to speak. “Oh yes, and this meal will cost you two hundred and thirty-seven thousand pounds. Now is that going to be cash or card?”

Ok, I admit that this is a bit extreme, or is it? Shakuntala Devi once wrote: “Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.”

I want you to ask yourself, what do you want for your future? Do you hope to own a house someday, own a car? Well, those come with payments like taxes, mortgage, and insurance and you will need math to calculate those or risk paying too much, two hundred and thirty-seven thousand pounds for a cheeseburger as an example.

How about your career of choice? Math is needed for almost every single profession in the world. If you want to be a biologist, archaeologist, an attorney or work as a cashier at Tesco, it is without a doubt that numbers will be part and parcel of the job. Basically, you will never be able to live without math so accept it and try to make learning math fun.

A friend once told me, “I want to be a photographer, what do I need to know about calculus or trigonometry?” Well, that is quite simple actually, a photographer will need to calculate the depth of field, determine the correct film speed, shutter speed, aperture, and exposure, and so much more.

Do you like playing video games, Playstation, Xbox, Wii, and others? Do you have a few killer ideas that you just know will make great games? If so, guess what? Math is a necessity. Aspiring video game programmers will need to study trigonometry, physics, and calculus.

As a boy, I had dreams of becoming an astronaut, “to go where no man has gone before.” If that’s you, then consider this, astronauts use maths in order to make precise mathematical calculations, from how the spacecraft leaves Earth’s atmosphere to how the astronauts pilot the craft. So no math, no Captain Kirk.

Math is a necessity and when considering the uses and benefits thereof there are a number of reasons to learn math:

  • Develop your “lifelong learning” skills:  Asking others for help, looking stuff up, learning to deeply focus on tasks, being organized, etc.
  • Develop your work ethic:  Not making excuses, not blaming others, not being lazy, being on time, not giving up so easily, etc.  This is more important for “success” than raw IQ. There is no shortcut.
  • Get better at learning complicated things.  You are less afraid of complex ideas and classes.
  • Develop pride & confidence in your ability to understand complicated things.  This is not fake self-esteem, but one that is earned.
  • Certain careers in science, health, technology, and engineering require serious Math skills.

Studies suggest that intelligent & motivated people are generally more interesting and happier. Your frontal lobe is not done developing until the age of  25-27. The more things you can learn before reaching that age, the more things you can learn over your lifetime. A survey concluded that 20% to 40% of college freshmen take remedial courses.  Do you want to retake high school courses in college, or do you want to take real college classes?

If you need assistance with Maths or English, sign up for GT Scholars flagship programme, GT Scholars Academic  Programme. This programme not only has tutoring in Maths or English, but also provides skill-building, enrichment and mentoring.  Keep a lookout for our enrichment days and our skill-building workshops by signing up to our newsletter.

Five skills you need to get that scholarship you’ve always wanted

Five skills you need to get that scholarship you’ve always wanted

University What's new? Young people

Getting into university is one thing, but being able to financially survive it is another matter. The gravity of the student loans and the increase in the cost of living at university is enough trouble to think about, adding the fact that it costs more now than what it used to, and with the current economic troubles, parents have suffered over the past years. However, getting a scholarship will allow you to study without the worry of acquiring large student debts and you will be able to graduate without the gloom of it over your positively bright horizon.

To get a scholarship, you first need to start with your research on which scholarship you are applying for. You need to do this at the earliest possible time so that you have more time to prepare what you need. Next, make sure that you are eligible for the scholarship you want to apply for. All your efforts in preparing for the scholarship application will go to waste if you find that you are not eligible for it in the first place. Then, be organised and keep your documents in one place. This will make it easier for you to track your requirements. You should also make sure you have the most recent information and documents. And last but not the least, never miss your deadlines.

While landing yourself a scholarship is no easy task, you can definitely arm yourself with the skills needed to get it. Here are a few of those skills that you can use to get the scholarship that you want.

Academic excellence
Even if you are applying for a sports or arts scholarship, your academic performance will be a determining factor for the approval of your scholarship. For most scholarships, there is a minimum grade to even be eligible to apply. To make your application stand out, make sure that you have a strong and longstanding academic record.

There are many leadership development scholarships you can apply for. However, great leadership abilities will make you a good candidate for any scholarship. Being a leader would show that you are mature and capable of handling and delegating responsibilities, while also showing that you are honest, confident, and committed to any given task that you might face. If you find yourself lacking in leadership skills, you can get yourself a coach or mentor. Just as adults and senior business leaders invest in coaching sessions, you can also find a mentor or coach that can help you build yourself into a holistic leader.

You can also set yourself apart from other applicants by focusing on your ability to be self-reliant. In your application, make sure to add details of your internship and work experience, highlighting that you are a responsible and committed person who can take on any task given to them. You can also include your letters of recommendation from your employers. This will prove that you are an applicant who is serious about your future and that you have the experience to show what you are capable of.

If you have spent time volunteering and you have a passion for community work, then make that a highlight in your application. You can include a recommendation letter from the charities or organisations that you have worked with, and you can make your compassion the main point of your essay. Volunteering and community work show that you want to make a difference to the people and the world around you, which scholarship committees care a lot about too. You can even apply for scholarships that focus on the causes that you are passionate about.

If you have more of a flair for the arts, then you can always go for an arts scholarship. If you are a musician, there are also plenty of scholarships for you. Make your talent work for you by making it stand out in your application. Remember that creativity is all about standing out and making an impact, so do it with your application. Make the review committee feel the intensity of your passion for art or music, and give them something that they would never forget.

Finally, when you apply for a scholarship, never let fear get in your way. You might think that the committees reviewing your applications are hard to please, stone-hearted people, but in fact they are just people like you. They just want to know if you have the talent and the capacity to be able to carry out what they represent. It is best to just simply be yourself and show them that you also have a heart that beats with a passion for what they stand for, and that you just want their help to better your education and fulfill your dreams.

GT Scholars is a social enterprise that provides tutoring, mentoring and enrichment to young people between the ages of 11 and 16. We are eager to help young people to achieve good grades, learn valuable skills and gain important insight to get the scholarship that they need. Contact us for more information and you can also have a look at our free to download  21 scholarships, bursaries and awards for young people to find out more about great scholarships opportunities for young people in England.

6 Misconceptions that young people need to address before embarking on a degree or an apprenticeship

6 Misconceptions that young people need to address before embarking on a degree or an apprenticeship


University debt has now risen to £100 billion in the UK, and it’s set to keep rising. Many young people are now looking into alternatives to university. You can read more about apprenticeships as an alternative to university here. But what happens if you’re not sure which path to take?

There is no reason for anyone to throw themselves into an apprenticeship or go to university just for the sake of going! There are a lot of things to consider. In this blog, we’ll do our best to address some of the typical misconceptions of young people about apprenticeships.

1. If I do an apprenticeship, I’ll earn less than a graduate. 

When you’re studying for a degree, you’ll need to pay for your course and most people. This means taking up a student loan. During an apprenticeship, you get paid to work and gain your apprenticeship certification, and you won’t have a student loan to pay off. The reality is that your salary as an apprentice and even beyond your apprenticeship will always depend on the profession you’ve chosen, the type of apprenticeship you’ve chosen and the company you work with. The same applies to graduates. It will depend on the work experience you gained before and during your degree, your qualities and what you have to offer, the degree you studied, the university you attend and the profession you chose. There are so many variables that it’s almost impossible to say one is better.

2. An apprenticeship is more accessible than studying for a degree.

Again this is not necessarily true. So many young people believe that doing an apprenticeship instead of a degree is an easy way out. There is a belief an internship doesn’t require good grades and that it’s a safety net that will secure them a well-paid job after school and ensure that they are debt free.

Many students mess around in their final year of school because they believe they need 5Cs for a suitable apprenticeship. They didn’t attend any revision sessions, hardly prepared for exams and did the bare minimum to get 5Cs at GCSE, and who could blame them? Why work so hard if you feel you have the safety net of an apprenticeship waiting for you? Instead of looking for the easy way out, you should probably take the time to decide on your ideal career and then choose the path that will take you in the right direction.

3. It’s easy to get an apprenticeship with a top company.

The reality is that the top apprenticeships and school/college leaver programmes are competitive. Just like graduate programmes, you’ll face a lot of competition. Top companies want top-quality candidates, so you’d better be prepared to have a brilliant CV and get good GCSEs and A-levels if you want a job with the highest-paying companies. Some of the more glamorous apprenticeships will pay £400 per week, but most will pay about £200 per week. You only need to look online at the apprenticeships to understand what is available.

4. Doing an apprenticeship means I’ll never have to study again.

Unfortunately, this is not true. Most apprenticeships will require some form of assessment or examination as part of the apprenticeship. And, of course, even after your apprenticeship, your career may still need you to take regular exams or build qualifications if you want to move up the career ladder. Instead of thinking about how to get out of exams, why not look for a way to get better at doing them?

5. Apprenticeships are for people that didn’t get good grades or don’t like studying.

Doing an apprenticeship or studying for a degree is something that requires a lot of thought. The decision shouldn’t be based purely on your grades. The real question should be – what are you passionate about? What would you like to do with your life? If the career you want requires a degree, you’ll need to get good grades and go to a top university.  If the career you want doesn’t necessarily require a degree, e.g. Accounting, IT or Management – then you’ll need to get good grades and go and work for the best company you can find that will support you to achieve your career aspirations. Alternatively, if the career you want requires you to go to a specialist Art/Fashion/Music/Dance college, you’ll need to get good grades to get into the specialist college.

6. I’ve been predicted low grades. I probably won’t get good GCSEs, and I’ll have no choice but to do an apprenticeship.

Predictions at school are based on a range of factors. Even as a teacher, I remember being baffled by what the computer spurred out as the predicted grades for my students. The problem is that many students then rest on their laurels, believing there’s just no hope and they’re only as good as the prediction. My view on this is to work hard. Don’t give up because your predictions aren’t that great. I’ve met bright students who gave up on themselves at the most critical point in their lives, and I’ve always wondered what would happen if they put in just a little more effort to get better grades.

If you’re unsure about what you want to do, you should probably take some time to get work experience in a field you are interested in before embarking on an apprenticeship or signing up for a degree.

Do your research into universities and the types of degrees that you could study. Meet people currently on an apprenticeship and ask about their experience. You may also want to look into apprenticeship degrees where you work full-time while gaining a degree through your employer and graduating debt free! Remember that no matter which path you choose – you’ll probably still need to work hard and get good grades by the end of school.

Find out how we are able to provide free private tutoring to young people from low income homes

Find out how we are able to provide free private tutoring to young people from low income homes

Narrowing the gap Social mobility University Volunteers What's new?

Research from Sutton Trust’s shows that 42% of students in London have paid for private tutoring at some point in their academic careers. In addition to this, privately educated pupils are more than twice as likely to have received tutoring at some point in their academic lives compared to state educated pupils.

Research from the Education Endowment Foundation shows that tutoring can accelerate learning by up to 5 months within a year.  So why aren’t more young people from lower income homes making use of tutors? The reality is that high quality tutoring is simply not affordable. The average rate for tutoring in London about £30 per hour.

When we launched GT Scholars one of the first things we noticed was that there were more online search enquiries for private tuition from families from higher income homes than those from lower income homes. This was initially surprising as we couldn’t understand why we weren’t getting many more enquiries from families from low income homes.

Despite our relatively low costs and our offer of free places, the programme seemed to attract more people from higher income homes.It took us a while for us to see that many of our target market – parents of young people from lower income homes – were not looking for private home tutoring.

Their families were less likely to look for a tutor because tutoring can be expensive and from a parent’s point of view, particularly parents with a relatively low income – private tutoring was seen as risky especially if you don’t have the money or the right network to help you find or afford the right tutor.

When we discussed the search for a private tutor – many explained that they had stopped looking for a tutor because they believed there was no such thing as affordable private tutoring. It’s hard to justify paying a private tutor £40 per hour if you only earn £10/hour. We realised that many parents from lower income homes often saw private tutoring as a luxury that they just could not afford.

On the other hand, parents from wealthier homes, even those that that were already paying for private schools, saw private tutoring an essential part of learning that they cannot afford to miss out on.

Most people would agree that young people from low income homes should be able to access additional support through after-school tutoring – if they need it.

Over the past few years, we have found that that the best way to reach young people from low income homes is to reach them directly through their schools and offer free or low cost workshops and courses for parents to access additional support.

This gives parents a chance to meet us in person and understand some of the benefits of the programme and access support through our short courses and workshops when needed. We also encourage parents to sign up to our weekly newsletter ‘In the know’ which gives parents an idea of activities and opportunities that are available to their child.

There is no denying that private tutoring is here to stay. It’s a booming industry and becoming a way of life for many people especially those from higher income homes. The only way to make this fair is to offer some form of means-tested tuition including some free places – and this is the story of GT Scholars.

The GT Scholars programme is a not-for-profit after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme open to pupils in your school in Years 7 to 11. Pupils on the programme receive support from volunteer tutors from some of the top universities in London and volunteer mentors from top companies and organisations in London.

Parents pay means tested fees based on total household income and private tutoring fees range from £9 to £26. We use all 100% of our profits to ensure that at least 1 in 7 places are entirely free of charge to pupils from the lowest income groups. The majority of our pupils are from low income homes with household income under £25,000. We are currently using our social enterprise to provide 1 free place for every 6 paying pupils. Our goal is to be able to offer 1 in 3 free places by 2020.

The programme is entirely free of charge for schools to participate and we ensure that free places only go to young people from low income homes that have a genuine need for the programme.

If you work in a school in London and would like to know more about how the GT Scholars programme can benefit pupils in your school, contact us using the following link:

Do Apprenticeships Perpetuate a Two-Tier System?

Do Apprenticeships Perpetuate a Two-Tier System?

Corporate Social Responsibility Narrowing the gap Research Social mobility University

A report has shown that doubts over the value of a university degree means that 4 out of 5 parents would prefer their child to pursue a form of apprenticeship over a university education. But GT Scholars wonders if it is this attitude towards higher-education that has helped strengthen the UK’s two-tier education system?

Raised university fees and the scrapping of the bursary will most likely have a negatively impact social mobility

With parental pressure towards vocational training, as well as fears over taking out large student loans, it’s no surprise that official figures suggest that poor teenagers are almost half as likely to go on to university than richer classmates. It’s likely that this means many gifted and talented children from less wealthy families are put off applying to university because of their socio-economic situation.

This is in stark contrast to parents from wealthier families who aren’t just more encouraging towards their children’s higher-education ambitions, but they are more likely to spend money on private tuition to help them gain access to the best colleges and universities. These parents have often taken on student debt themselves, have positive experiences of university and understand the value of a degree.

Graduates have traditionally earned more than their non-graduate peers

Scepticism over the value of a degree isn’t uncommon, but a recent study revealed that the majority of graduates are more likely to be in work and earn more than non-graduates. It also found that ten years after finishing university, graduates earned an average of over 25% more than non-graduates of the same age.

Although financial worries are a reality that aren’t going to disappear, nobody should feel like they don’t have access to higher-education because of their socio-economic background. It’s this unfortunate attitude that has helped to create a two-tier education system with students from poorer families less likely to pursue degrees – but the rise of degree-apprenticeships could help change this.

Degree-apprenticeships may be the solution

Degree apprenticeships allow students to do paid work at an accredited company, but also study for a management-related degree alongside it. Many high-profile firms across the UK, including M&S, Nestle, Rolls-Royce and Barclays, have signed up for the government backed scheme.

A student doing a degree-apprenticeship with Nestle spoke glowingly about the opportunity, “I find it incredible that at 21, compared to my friends who did go to uni, I’ll have not only a degree but also a professional status.”

Another student that made the decision to take up a degree apprenticeship because she was worried about getting into debt, saying “It was a worrying thought that I would be paying that off for the rest of my working life…The apprenticeship sounded a better option.”

With Government pledging to create 3 million degree-apprenticeships by 2020, this could be the change that sees working-class students have equal access to higher-education and finally puts an end to two-tier education.

At GT Scholars we believe that everybody should have access to the education that they want, no matter their background. That’s why we charge means-tested fees, to ensure that young people from lower income homes can access our programmes. To find out more about how we support young people through our courses, workshops and programmes, register your interest by visiting

We need to make sure students are well informed about their options post 16

We need to make sure students are well informed about their options post 16

Apprenticeships Careers Narrowing the gap Post 16 University Volunteer mentors What's new? Work experience Young people

Post 16 options

Every young person is required to be in some form of education or training from the ages of 16-18. These years can be an incredibly exciting period, as young people for the first time are in full control over what subjects and qualifications they take. It is an opportunity to begin specialising in certain areas/subjects and to truly begin down the road to independence and adulthood. We at GT Scholars think it essential for all students to know the options that are available to them post 16, so we’ve made a list to help young people make the right choice for themselves. There is most certainly something for everyone.

A levels –

A levels are the next step for many young people post 16. They are subject-based qualifications, taken at school or college, that open up a variety of options later on. Universities and employers hold A level qualifications in high regard. They are a particularly good stepping stone towards university, as they offer a bridge between the teaching styles of schools and universities. A levels are a great academic challenge and give students the chance to further enhance their knowledge of familiar subjects such as English, Maths, History etc, or perhaps to delve into subjects that they may not have come across at school, such as Psychology or Politics.

Vocational Courses –

Another college-based post 16 option are vocational courses. They are different from A levels in that they typically are more hands-on, practical qualifications. They are specialist qualifications which focus on specific subject and employment areas, a few examples from the long list being business, social care and hairdressing . Vocational courses can help students gain employment skills and also provide a path towards a variety of university courses. They are a respected and well-established option post 16.

Apprenticeships –

Apprenticeships are gaining popularity in the UK, as more and more young people are recognising their value as a legitimate alternative to A-Levels. They offer something very different; practical, hands-on experience in a workplace. The skills you gain through apprenticeships are mostly job-specific and offer a fantastic route towards eventual full-time employment in your industry of choice. As an apprentice you can gain qualifications whilst working and earning money. The scope of apprenticeships has widened in recent years, with roles now available in a wide variety of sectors from engineering to IT to business. The modern apprenticeship is a challenging, rewarding and dynamic post 16 option.

Below are a list of links with further information to help you make the right choice for you-

7 things to think about when choosing a university

7 things to think about when choosing a university


University can be one of life’s most exciting and rewarding times. But before you get there, choosing the right university is challenging.

I went through the application process a few years ago and understood how tough and stressful it can be. So here are some tips to help the aspiring university student make the right decision

1. Take your time:

Choosing the right university is essential. Remember you will be studying there for, most likely, three years. Don’t leave the process to the last minute. Deciding where you want to learn can be challenging, so give yourself time to think it over. It may be worth considering this as early as Year 9 or 10. Click here to read a blog about achieving your goals by starting with the end in mind.

2. Look at University league tables:

League tables can be a good indicator of a university’s overall rating, reputation, and quality of any course. Several respected league tables, such as The Complete University Guide, the Guardian University Guide and The Times Good University Guide, are published yearly. Also, note that different universities excel at other subjects, so research the reputation of your potential universities regarding your chosen topic.

3. Do your research!

Make sure you research your potential universities thoroughly. Their websites usually contain a lot of detail about the institution and its history and values. You can also read their prospectus online or order one to arrive by post. Some universities will require that you apply earlier than the usual deadline; others operate a collegiate system and expect you to choose a college when using. Some of them hope you take an additional entrance exam before being accepted. Remember that the more you know, the more confident you will be that you are making the right choice. Get more tips from a recent graduate by reading our blog here

4. Attend University open days.

Visiting a university is the only way to get an authentic feel for what life will be like there. Campus, make sure you attend a handful of open days so that you have some comparisons. On a breezy day, you meet and talk to staff and students and tour the campus. Statistics and league tables tell us something, but the first-hand visit experience will help paint a more detailed picture of what it has to offer. The day I stepped onto the University of Kent campus was when I knew where I wanted to study and spend the next three years of my life.

5. University Lifestyle & location:

Don’t forget to think about location when choosing a university. Ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you want outside of your studies. Some may favour living in a big city with vibrant and varied nightlife. Others may prefer a low-key, relaxed environment. You may also want to consider how far away from home you are prepared to live. Some students choose to live at home with their family while studying, others want to live within a short distance from home, and others are pretty happy to move further away.

6. Societies, Sports & Extracurricular activities:

There are usually hundreds of societies in each university, and some universities have world-renowned facilities to support these activities, e.g. Sports at Loughborough University. You won’t be spending all your time studying, so if you enjoy an activity and want to continue at university, it may be worth looking into the school that will support you with this. Suppose you don’t have an extracurricular that you are particularly interested in. In that case, it may be worth looking at the university’s list of societies to consider the activities you want to participate in in your free time.

7. What else is on offer:

Some universities have good exchange programmes where you can study abroad as part of your course. Some schools have an excellent career fair and a career centre to support you with getting internships and finding a graduate job. Others have suitable bursaries, which could reduce the cost of your course. Others allow you to take credits as part of your degree so you can study Biology and take some credits in Music (if that’s what you’re looking for!). Wherever you choose to study, make sure that you look into any other added benefits, as this will help with your decision-making.

We hope this is helpful to anyone that’s thinking about furthering their education in the next couple of years. For more hints and tips on universities and careers, visit the GT Scholars blog at


Choosing a university course? 5 tips from a recent graduate to help you make the right choice

Choosing a university course? 5 tips from a recent graduate to help you make the right choice


So you’ve been working hard preparing for university, you’re pretty sure you’ll get the grades, and maybe you even know which university you’ll go to… but there’s a huge decision you need to make. Which university course will you study?

According to UCAS, there are 37,000 undergraduate courses at over 370 universities across the UK. Many factors need to be taken into consideration when deciding the course that is right for you. We’ve listed five things to consider when choosing your future degree course.

1. Choose something you are passionate about

This tip may seem obvious, but I can’t stress this enough. Remember that you’ll spend at least three years studying your chosen subject. If you aren’t passionate about your topic, you’ll likely find it harder to motivate yourself and won’t enjoy the experience. A mixture of passion for your issue and hard work will stand you in great stead for your time at university.

2. Look at the course content

It’s essential to research the specific details of your course. You may find that one university has modules in your subject that interest you far more than the modules in the same subject at another university. Be sure to look at the second and third-year modules, as well as the first year, as this will give a good indication of the direction of your course.

3. Check league tables & specialities

League tables can be a good indicator of any course’s quality. Several respected league tables are published every year, such as Also, note that different universities excel at other subjects, so make sure you research the reputation of your potential universities regarding your chosen topic. Read more about league tables and other tips about choosing a university in our blog here. 

4. Think about your career direction

  It may seem a little early to think about career decisions but keep in mind the paths your course opens up for you. It is an obvious point, but some professions need people with degrees in specific subjects, so if you know what you want to do later in life, you may want to tailor your qualification to that profession. If you are not sure what you want to do in later life, don’t panic. A degree opens up many more paths than it closes, and you are not limited to working in a career directly related to your degree.   

5. Look into degrees that offer something unique:

Many degrees in the UK offer unique opportunities, such as sandwich placements, where you spend a year working in a company, usually between your second and third years. Other degrees offer add-on credits so you can graduate with a double degree or a degree plus a language. Another popular choice is a degree with the opportunity to study abroad for a year. This can be an excellent opportunity to meet new travel the world, meet new people and complete your degree simultaneously.

We hope this gives you a good idea of how to start your search for a degree course. For more hints and tips on universities and careers, visit the GT Scholars blog at


Extra-curricular activities to boost your personal statement or CV

Extra-curricular activities to boost your personal statement or CV


Your teenage years can be consumed by getting the grades for work or University. But it doesn’t all have to be about studying! Taking part in extra-curricular activities breaks up the school week and allows you to add skills to your CV. This will show how gifted and talented you are to future schools and employers.

The GT Scholars programme knows this, which is why we love providing our skill-building days and encouraging you to develop transferrable skills in leadership, time management and working as a team. But if you’re looking for even more ways to boost your personal statement or CV, here are five examples of extra-curricular activities that employers love!

Language activities

Travel is more affordable than ever, and many companies work internationally, which makes language skills hugely appealing to prospective employers. 

As for adding language skills to your personal statement, what’s more, impressive than showing Universities that you personally managed your time and studies to learn another language?


Sports are a great way to boost your personal statement or CV and are often fun ways to hang out with friends. Why do they look so good? Engaging in sports outside of school shows your ability to work as a team, motivate yourself to improve and be reliable enough to attend training sessions.


Showing that you are willing to use your free time to help others and be depended on not only reflects your innate interest in the welfare of others but can also offer a wide range of skills in business and events. Volunteering in the community could give you valuable experience in anything from managing others, teamwork, money-handling, communication and event organisation. 


Acting as a private tutor to those younger than you imply strong leadership and support skills. Tutoring others in school subjects also helps you understand those subjects better, which will then come across in your confidence in that subject as well as showcasing your ability to coach others and work for a shared goal rather than just a personal one.

Creative experience

With so much emphasis on grades in school, you can forget to spend time being creative. But employees and Universities love to see time spent on creative activities! Whether making and selling arts and crafts, producing short videos for Youtube with friends or writing for a student website, each activity showcases different skills. For example, it shows your ability to take the initiative, think outside the box and present valuable skills in business and IT.

A simple example was my years at Secondary school when I decided to make tote bags out of leftover fabric and sold them through a Facebook page. Straight away, I could add business and online marketing experience to my personal statement for University!

So those are the five extra-curricular activities that look good for University or your CV. And the best part is that you can have a great time with friends with similar interests!

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme for young people aged 11-16. Scholars receive support through tutoring, mentoring, enrichment and skill-building activities designed to improve their grades at school, help them get into top universities and help them enter competitive careers.

To learn more about the GT Scholars Programme, you can arrange a consultation with a member of our team; click here.