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Students try out life as an Oxbridge Undergraduate

Year 12 students from King Edward VII try out life as an Oxbridge Undergraduate.

Nine of our year 12 students have been trying out life as a Cambridge or Oxford undergraduate. There have been 420 participants in the 2015 Cambridge University Students' Union (CUSU) Shadowing Scheme and 200 in the Oxford University Students’ Union access scheme(OUSU)  nationally. We are delighted that a record number of our students have been accepted onto the scheme this year.   

Organised annually by CUSU and OUSU, the scheme aims to give bright young people from non-university backgrounds the opportunity to experience life at a top university.

Students Charlotte Bailey, Casey Hodges, Rebecca McGrother, Emily Smith, Jake Shaw, Holly Pickering, Hannah Aldridge, Joanna Marsden and Dominika Peczkowsa teamed up with undergraduate students from Cambridge or Oxford to experience a range of degree subjects. Our students attended lectures, supervisions and social events, for a taste of what undergraduate life at the top Russell group universities is really like.

Lottie Bailey who aims to study Dentistry at university said her experience really gave her “an insight into what life at Cambridge must really be like” and she found the “supervisions and lectures really beneficial”.

Jake Shaw said that “shadowing a student at Oxford has now made me feel more confident about applying”. Hannah Aldridge reported that “The University of Cambridge is much more accessible than I thought!”

Rebecca McGrother who originally wanted to study engineering said her visit to Cambridge has made her realise that she wants to study mechanical engineering instead.

Helena Blair, Access Officer for CUSU and one of the organisers of this year’s scheme, explains:

“The Shadowing Scheme gives bright students from state schools the chance to experience university life, and really helps to break down the myths surrounding Cambridge. 

“We know that some students may be put off applying to Cambridge by misconceptions and negative stereotypes, while others just may not have considered Cambridge or Higher Education as a viable option at all. 

“There’s no better insight into being at University than shadowing a student for a few days during term-time, and we hope the experience King Edward VII students get from the Shadowing Scheme will help them to make an informed choice about their options post-sixth-form.”

This year’s Shadowing Scheme was the biggest yet, with priority for places given to young people with a strong academic track record, but who attend schools with little experience of sending students to Cambridge or Oxford, and who have few family members with experience of Higher Education.

‘Shadows’ stay in a Cambridge college, attend lectures with their undergraduate mentors, and try out social activities with the University's student societies. Cambridge’s 700 societies cover almost every interest, from journalism to American football, and theatre to debating.

Applications for the 2016 Shadowing Scheme will open in October 2015. More information is available at: or Anyone interested in applying for the Oxford shadowing scheme can simply sign up to Oxford shadowing which is advertised on their Facebook page.

Nineteen students from year 12 at King Edward VII have applied for summer school to study at a Russell group university this coming summer. The scheme is fully funded by the Sutton Trust charity dedicated to promoting social mobility.

Currently, two students in Year 13 have been offered a place at The University of Cambridge to study Mathematics and Modern Foreign Languages dependent upontheir A2 outcomes and a Year 13 student has been offered a place to study Medicine at Hull York Medical School. Fingers crossed for these students!

Miss Booth

King Edward VII Science and Sport College is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England with Company Number 8158225 and has a registered office at Warren Hills Road, Coalville, Leicestershire LE67 4UW