Visiting Gonville & Caius college at Cambridge University was an experience that showed the standards and expectations of the university, which for a few of the students going on the trip hadn’t been thought of until this moment.On the visit, we met students who gave tours around the college and surrounding area whilst being available for questioning about student life, the work load and, of course, the night life! The work load, in particular, was what interested a great deal of the pupils from Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar school, as they wondered whether at an Oxbridge University the work load would be more than any other university in the UK. We were also introduced to what makes a good personal statement, handy at a time in a year 12 students life where the main focus from all teachers and parents is put on making themselves stand out from the crowd, and what makes a good student in relation to applying to Oxbridge.
For those student who have an interest in applying for Oxbridge Universities, this day was an eye opener in order for them to get to grips with the life as an Oxbridge student and experience this with some of the top achievers in the UK at the moment.
On average, 36% of all state school applications between 2009 and 2011 were for the five most oversubscribed subjects at Oxford. From this information we can gather that not only is it difficult to get into some of the top universities in the UK for current sixth form and college students, but that that difficulty will only appear to increase as the years go on, with more competition; students get smart, grade boundaries get higher, open university placements decrease!
This, in addition to the fact that our privately educated peers are being more focused in their training for their chosen university courses, and that the more popular courses such as medicine and law are being over-applied for, means that Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar school students will have to work extremely hard to get into an Oxbridge University.
In conclusion, the trip to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, allowed our students to experience the true feelings of being at university, and came as a shock to some, where they realise that the work really does need to start now.
By Millie and Lewis, Year 12