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Peter Symonds College students celebrate incredible 56 Oxbridge offers

Peter Symonds College students

Students at Peter Symonds College (@Symonds_College) are celebrating an incredible 56 offers to study at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Between them, students from 28 different secondary schools have received 34 offers from the University of Oxford and 22 offers from the University of Cambridge.

Principal Sara Russell said;

“I am absolutely delighted for these students who are seeing their hard work and dedication yield wonderful results. The Oxbridge application process is always extremely challenging and incredibly competitive and to be offered a place is a fantastic achievement at any time. To be successful with the additional challenges that successive lockdowns and remote learning have placed in the way make these achievements even more impressive.”

Student Sejal Kumar, from Southampton and a former pupil at St Anne’s Catholic College, has been offered a place to study Medicine at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She said;

“Oxford has been my dream for so long and I’m so thankful and happy to be offered a place. It still feels so surreal. Symonds was very supportive throughout the application process. The Oxbridge Prep Programme helped get me started on the journey and the extension materials for medicine provided by the biology department helped me familiarise myself with the entrance tests and interviews.”

Callum Webb, a former pupil of Hurst Community College and one of four Peter Symonds students who have received offers to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford, said;

“Peter Symonds offered a great opportunity for me to flourish academically. In particular, getting involved in a variety of enrichments allowed me to further explore what I had done in lessons; debating and learning with others was invaluable in achieving my offer.”

He added “The Oxbridge team at Symonds really made an offer feel like a realistic goal for everyone, their advice and support was so helpful across the whole application process.”

Former Testbourne Community School student Anna Jay, who has a place to study German and Arabic at Wadham College, Oxford, agreed, adding, “There was a lot of work, but it feels worth it. It was so helpful having the support from college, especially two practice interviews which gave me useful interview skills and an insight into potential questions.”

Sabina Labrow, Peter Symonds specialist Oxbridge tutor, congratulated students, saying;

“These students come from a diverse range of schools and backgrounds, but one thing they have in common is that all have worked extremely hard and taken advantage of all the opportunities available to them. Their ability and commitment is remarkable and it’s a joy to see them fulfil their potential.”

Former Kings School student Ady Gaurav, who has an offer from Balliol College, Oxford, to study Maths, said;

“I am thrilled to receive an offer from Oxford and I am very grateful for the support given to me by the college. In particular, the practice interviews we were given helped me convey my thoughts in an effective way, which improved my confidence.”

Student Milosz Kowalski, who formerly attended Bitterne Park School and has been offered a place on the Human Social and Political Sciences course at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, said;

“As someone from a working-class, migrant background, it was sometimes difficult to see myself at Cambridge, but the supportive atmosphere at Symonds made me feel that truly anyone can succeed. The HE+ programme inspired me to go beyond the curriculum, a key aspect of my Cambridge application, while being surrounded by ambitious peers kept me motivated and engaged. Working hard during the pandemic was difficult, but having such a wonderful final goal in sight was extremely helpful!”

Peter Symonds is a non-selective state sixth form college and one of only two state institutions listed in the top eight contributors of students to Oxford and Cambridge nationally in a Sutton Trust survey. Since 2000, an average of 47 Peter Symonds students per year have been offered places at Oxbridge. At any one time, there are over 150 ex-Symonds students studying at Oxford and Cambridge.

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