Spoilt for choice! Sahil picks Harvard after multiple offers from US universities

Sixth-Former Sahil Handa has won a place at Harvard – as well as receiving offers from two other leading American universities and from universities in the UK.

Harvard in Massachusetts, one of the eight east-coast Ivy League universities, was recently named the world’s best university in the Times Higher Education rankings of global reputation. Sahil, a former School Vice-Captain, will take a Liberal Arts course there, majoring in either Politics or Philosophy.

Sahil, who is in Year 13, also received the promise of a generous scholarship from the University of Virginia, alma mater of Robert and Ted Kennedy, and was offered a place at the highly rated Stanford University in California, but after weighing up the pros and cons he opted for Harvard, the USA’s oldest university.

""He is one of a number of QE boys in recent years to receive offers from overseas universities, and especially from America.

Sahil has always participated enthusiastically in School and community life. He won a Jack Petchey Award after heading QE’s peer-mentoring scheme – which he did in his role as Vice-Captain – and served as director of a youth-run charity organisation, The Youth Project. With over 1,500 volunteers in ten countries, this organisation co-ordinates initiatives to feed the homeless, mentor disabled children, build sports halls in slums and is running a mental health campaign. He is part of Hendon’s Leo Club (the youth programme of Lions Clubs), which involves fundraising and community service projects. He has received a Social Leaders Impact Award from the Future Foundations youth training organisation.

""His ability was also recognised by global management consultancy McKinsey & Company, which selected him for one of its leadership schemes. “The programme involved a residential stay with the organisation, where I learnt about leadership and networked with successful young people,” he said.

His interests include theatre and dance. “I ran the School dance club for four years, which included taking the boys for performances inside School and out.” Sahil was also an individual finalist at a national televised dance competition, where he combined hip-hop and street dance with bhangra and Indian dance.

""He was made a drama director at School and led a group of 35 actors in putting on a production of Hamlet while also working with disabled people in theatre workshops. Sahil performed in the West End with other QE boys as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival. He successfully auditioned for the National Youth Theatre and, in total, has acted in more than 15 productions – both at School and elsewhere – often in leading roles.

He is a QE cricketer and also a badminton player. And Sahil was one of only 50 young artists from across London to be selected for the Royal Academy of Arts’ AttRAct scheme.