Take it from us: last year’s leavers give current sixth-formers the benefit of their university experience

Take it from us: last year’s leavers give current sixth-formers the benefit of their university experience

QE’s University Convention may have gone online this year because of Covid-19, but the alumni still turned out in numbers to support current Year 12 boys.

Well over 50 Old Elizabethans – mostly those who left the School last summer – took part in the video convention for Year 12 pupils considering their university options.

With 19 sessions on 14 subjects delivered over seven days, the virtual event was a major organisational and technological feat.

Michael Feven, Assistant Head (Pupil Development) said: “We were determined to ensure that the current Year 12 did not miss out on opportunities and I am tremendously grateful to our former pupils who supported us. Their participation means that the University Convention was this year once again one of the biggest examples of alumni participation at the School.

“The event allowed boys to find out more about quite a wide range of university options and, of course, to discover how our alumni’s university student experiences have been affected by Covid. All Year 12 boys were free to drop in as they chose, and the sessions proved popular, provoking plenty of discussion afterwards.”

In normal years, OEs visit the School together for the convention, which therefore also becomes a reunion for them after their first two terms at university.

This year, however, their contributions were given on Zoom in a series of lunchtime sessions over the seven days.

The alumni spoke on 14 subjects in the first four days, from Architecture to Computer Science, Law to Medicine & Dentistry, and from Geography to Languages.

The final three days involved sessions structured around topics such as the year spent in industry during Engineering degrees and the different types of universities available, with sessions including Campus vs City, Oxbridge, International and London.

To ensure full coverage of the planned topics, the first-year alumni were joined by a number of OEs from earlier years , such as Nik Ward (2003–2010) and Danny Martin (2010–2017) speaking on studying Architecture, and Rhys Bowden (1996–2003) and Simon Purdy (2009–2016) on Music.