QE’s 39 Oxbridge stars shine in the shutdown

QE’s 39 Oxbridge stars shine in the shutdown

As QE focuses on continuing to deliver a first-class education in the midst of a second national lockdown, news that no fewer than 39 pupils have won offers from Oxford and Cambridge has brought welcome winter cheer to the School.

The figure is second only to last year’s all-time QE record of 40 Oxbridge offers and comes after final-year boys have had to wrestle with months of turmoil and uncertainty because of Covid-19.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “Theirs is a truly stellar achievement, achieved in the face of considerable uncertainty and additional challenge. I congratulate these 39 pupils on their hard work and application and I salute my colleagues who have done so much to make possible their success.

“As QE teachers labour tirelessly to maintain a full timetable to our customary standards in a virtual classroom environment, and to ensure that the complex process of university applications proceeds smoothly, this wonderful news is confirmation of the success of those efforts at the very highest levels.”

The places awarded are at a wide range of colleges, from the biggest of all in terms of the number of undergraduates, Trinity at Cambridge, to the much smaller St Benet’s Hall at Oxford. The subjects being studied are varied, too: those chosen include Economics, Engineering, Law, Mathematics, Medicine, Modern & Medieval Languages and Natural Sciences.

Mr Enright was joined by Assistant Head (Pupil Development) Michael Feven and Head of Year 13 Helen Davies for a special celebration with the Oxbridge boys in a video meeting using Microsoft Teams. The group, pictured top, was so big that they could not be fitted on to a single screenshot.

“I happily acknowledge the debt owed by these pupils to their parents and other family members who have supported them, and, in fact, I urged the boys in our video meeting to express their gratitude for this.

“Of course, it is important to recognise that not everyone who applied to Oxford and Cambridge was successful,” Mr Enright added. “A number of outstanding candidates have missed out on offers and will understandably be disappointed.”

“But offers from other sought-after universities are continuing to come in for these and for other boys. Year 13 as a whole are making great progress with their offers and support for them will continue throughout the UCAS process. We hope that everyone will receive an offer from a top-quality institution at which they will thrive and be happy.”

QE has a University admissions Support Programme – or USP – which is supported by many Old Elizabethans, especially through the online QE Connect alumni platform. Special arrangements were made this year with, for example, many old boys conducting online mock interviews for sixth-formers.

Mr Enright thanked the many alumni who have supported current pupils with advice and interviews through the pandemic.

“This year’s leavers will soon be the next entrants to our thriving alumni community, and I trust that they will similarly step up to help out future generations of Elizabethans, giving back to our community.”