7 Ways You or a Tutor can Prepare Your Child for Oxbridge

7 Ways You or a Tutor can Prepare Your Child for Oxbridge

Parents University What's new?

The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge (collectively known as Oxbridge) are two of the most prestigious universities not only in the UK but in the world. They have a long history, rich in heritage and tradition, that goes back at least nine centuries. They are globally recognised as being places of focus for learning, culture, and for intellectual debate.

It comes as no surprise that with such high esteem, both the universities are highly sought after by new students from all over the world. It’s extremely competitive to get into Oxbridge. In fact, in 2016 more than 19 000 people applied for the 3 200 undergraduate places at Oxford.

These figures are certainly daunting for students who wish to apply to these universities. It is clear that only the best of the best make the cut, so prospective students need to make sure that they really stand out from the immense crowd of applicants.

Children who aspire to study at Oxbridge will often need extra support from their parents, and that is not just about the funding. So here are seven ways that parents can prepare their bright children for a place at these elite universities.

  • 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, which will help 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, the parent can fund extra science classes, provide them with books and supplies that will increase their skills, and allow 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 be put in for them to realise their aspiration. By informing children well in advance of the responsibilities of choosing Oxbridge, parents can avoid building too much of 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 an aspiration.
  • Take a tour of the university: Parents can encourage an interest in Oxbridge by visiting the institutions with their children. As Dr Khan said, 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 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 do not know everything. Perhaps they did not go to Oxbridge or they did not go to university at all, so they do not know how to advise their aspiring children. Thus, getting a mentor for their children would do wonders by providing them with all the necessary skills and knowledge. The mentor could be an Oxbridge alumnus or even educated in the field of interest, and could help them with the application process, with resources of interest, or even just some good direction and confidence boosting.
  • Enroll them in a course or workshop: With 19 000 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 amount 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.

GT Scholars knows the importance of preparing students for Oxbridge and wants 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.

Find out more about the course here. We also provide an excellent mentorship programme which 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.

In the know: Scholarships for young people!

In the know: Scholarships for young people!

In The Know Resources University What's new?

We often get questions from young people at our events regarding scholarship, bursary and award opportunities, available to home students. In response to this, we have compiled a list of some of the most interesting opportunities being offered by various organisations.

Jack Petchey Foundation Individual Grants for Volunteering: This grant is on offer for young people between the ages of 11 and 25 who live in London or Essex. They must be volunteering with a UK based organisation and raising at least 50% of the funds required by the project. The award provides up to 50% of the cost of your project and no more than £400 per person. Read here for more information.

Reuben Singh Scholarship: This is a scholarship offer for entrepreneurs who want to study while running their business. Applicants must have an offer for an undergraduate place and have a running business. The scholarship, which is worth £9,000, will go towards education while you work on your business. Visit the website for more information.

Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship: This scholarship is offered to students between the ages of 14-21 years of age from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Founded by Miranda Brawn, who has a background in Investment Banking, Law and has worked as a diversity executive. The offer includes up to £1000, mentoring sessions, CV and career advice. For more information please visit the website.

We hope this is helpful to anyone that’s in need of information on scholarships and awards! The GT Scholars programme is an after-school programme for ambitious young people that would like to achieve top grades at school, get into top universities and enter competitive careers. ‘In The Know’ is our weekly newsletter for parents and carers to receive news about the latest opportunities for their child. Subscribe to ‘In The Know’ here: www.gtscholars.org/subscribe

7 things to think about when choosing a university

7 things to think about when choosing a university

Private tuition Private tutors University What's new? Young people

University can be one of the most exciting and rewarding times in your life. But before you get there, there is the challenge of choosing the right university.

I went through the application process a few years ago and understand 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 important. 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 study can be tough, so give yourself the luxury of time to think it over. It may be worth thinking about 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 league tables: League tables can be a good indicator as to the overall rating and reputation of a university as well as the quality of any given course. There are a number of respected league tables published every year, such as The Complete University Guide, the Guardian University Guide and The Times Good University Guide. Also, note that different universities excel at different subjects, so make sure you research the reputation of your potential universities in regards to your chosen subject.

3. Do your research! Make sure you research your potential universities thoroughly. University websites usually contain a lot of detail about the institution and its history and values. You can also read the university’s prospectus online or order one to arrive by post. Some universities will require that you apply earlier than the usual deadline, other universities operate a collegiate system and expect you to choose a college when applying. Some universities expect you to take an additional entrance exam before being accepted on the course. Remember that the more you know about your potential university, the more confident you will be that you are making the right choice.

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

5. 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 a 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 during their time at university, others want to live within a short distance from home and others are quite happy to move much 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 eg. Sports at Loughborough University. You won’t be spending all your time studying so if there’s an activity that you enjoy and want to continue at university, it may be worth looking into the university that will support you with this. If you don’t have an extra-curricular that you are particularly interested in, it may be worth looking at the university list of societies to have a think about the kinds of activities that you would want to take part in, in your free time.

7. What else is on offer: Some universities have really good exchange programmes where you can study abroad as part of your course. Some universities have an excellent careers fair and a career centre to support you with getting internships and finding a graduate job. Some universities have really good 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 the sort of thing you’re looking for!). Wherever you choose to study, make sure that you look into any other added benefits as this will really help with your decision making.

We hope this is helpful to anyone that’s thinking about going to university in the next couple of years. For more hints and tips on universities and careers, visit the GT Scholars blog www.gtscholars.org/blog

 

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

Growth mindset Private tuition Private tutors University What's new?

So you’ve been working really 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. There are many factors that that need to be taken into consideration when deciding the course that is right for you. We’ve written a list of 5 things you should 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 be spending at least three years studying your chosen subject. If you aren’t passionate about your subject then you’ll likely find it much harder to motivate yourself and you won’t enjoy the experience. A mixture of passion for your subject and hard work will stand you in great stead for your time at university.

  1. 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.

  1. Check league tables & specialities

League tables can be a good indicator as to the quality of any given course. There are a number of respected league tables published every year, such as Also, note that different universities excel at different subjects, so make sure you research the reputation of your potential universities in regards to your chosen subject.

  1. 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 a lot more paths than it closes, and you are not limited to working in a career which directly relates to your degree.   

Look into degrees that offer something unique: There are a large number of degrees in the UK that offer unique opportunities such as sandwich placements where you spend a year working in a company, usually between your second and third year. Other degrees offer add on credits so that you can graduate with a double degree or you can graduate with 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 at the same time.

We hope this gives you a good idea of how to get started with your search for a degree course. For more hints and tips on universities and careers, visit the GT Scholars blog www.gtscholars.org/blog