Perse students celebrate 49 Oxbridge offers
28 Jan 2021
Perse students are celebrating an impressive number of Oxbridge offers from the 2020-21 admissions cycle.
Forty-nine students have been offered Oxbridge places, with 26 from Cambridge University and 23 from Oxford University.
As it stands, 416 offers have been received by the leading Russell Group of universities, including 30 from York University and 22 from Southampton University.
So far, 69 offers have been made to Perse students to read engineering, while 13 offers have been made to study medicine. Internationally, one student has been accepted for a place at Yale.
Heads of School Victoria Leung and Fabian Dodds are among the Perse students receiving Cambridge offers, to study medicine at Fitzwilliam College and engineering at Homerton College respectively.
Both praised The Perse for the high quality of rounded education they had received during their time at the school as well as the instrumental role the university support team had played in helping them achieve their goals of gaining offers from Cambridge.
On discovering he had been offered a Cambridge place, Fabian commented: “My first reaction was a brief moment of disbelief followed by sheer joy at achieving one of my dreams. It was, and still is, an incredible feeling.
“This year was obviously very different to most. However, the school rose to this challenge and excelled, providing incredible support throughout the admissions process, whether in the form of assistance writing personal statements or holding virtual practice interviews.”
Having joined The Perse in Year 7 from a state primary school, Fabian reflected on how he had not just been inspired academically at the Upper, but also encouraged to pursue his interests in rugby and drama, the latter developing after watching the Perse Players’ Billy Elliot The Musical in 2018 and thinking ‘I want to be in a show’.
He said: “It very quickly became apparent that The Perse was where I wanted and needed to be. Looking back now, the standout point of The Perse is the culture of learning, not just being allowed to go beyond the curriculum, but encouraged across the board.
“Students are encouraged to be academically successful, and we are motivated to do this while exploring our passions and developing new ones.
“Once I began playing rugby at school, my ability increased dramatically but I also had another entire community to be a part of. No matter what the situation, I have been able to fall back on my team-mates and coaches to support me.
“Later in my school career, I became involved in drama and rehearsals helped me improve my communication skills, both interpersonally and publicly. I loved every second and felt fully involved in the drama community at the school.
“I’ve been part of an amazing school, and I’ve also been a valued member of the school community and I am proud to have come here.”
Meanwhile, a delighted Victoria said: “With all the uncertainty from Covid, the move to online interviews, different test formats, an increase in number of applicants and lack of ‘general normality’, it was a relief to know that all my work and effort had paid off.
“The school’s UCAS team were extremely helpful, adapting quickly to the ever-changing situation and instilling confidence in our applications. I thank my teachers for all their advice and support.”
She added: “The multitude of academic extension opportunities available, from taking part in Olympiads and being part of the biology and medical societies, all enhanced my understanding far beyond the curriculum, mimicking the rigours of university.
“Aside from this, the music department has been instrumental in letting me explore my non-academic interests and helping me develop as a whole person, not just in terms of my education, and I’m certain I’ll continue with music in addition to my medical studies.
“The Perse has prepared me for life after it. I leave the school confident that I am ready for the next step.”
Our nine-strong university advice team, led by Director of Qualifications & Progression Jonathan Green, offers bespoke support to Sixth Form students with specialist advisors for medicine, law and overseas universities, as well as dedicated Oxbridge experts. Students also receive detailed advice on personal statements and applications, as well as support with interview preparation.
Successful applications to top universities also stem from the quality of students’ A level results, with 93% of entries awarded an A* or A grade (or Pre U equivalent) in 2020, highlighting The Perse’s position as one of the leading schools in the country as well as the exceptional standard of our passionate and inspiring teachers.
Click here to watch our school film with advice for students who have a university interview on zoom or another online platform.