4 October 2023

Image of Students excel in Cambridge University programme

Students taking part in a programme run by Cambridge University to widen participation have been officially recognised for their excellent work in completing the challenges set to them.

The Cambridge HE+ programme aims to provide support for students to access highly selective university choices, and three Year 2 students at the College have received their certificates of excellence after collecting remarkably high scores on their assessment pieces.

Abbey Wilkinson and Joel Bennett registered marks of between 18-21, making them high achievers in the programme, and Ellie Webster even went one better and is now into the national final at Cambridge later this year, competing against other students from 19 different schools and colleges across the country. 

Indeed, Ellie is applying to study at Cambridge, looking to undertake a degree in Law as she aims to become a barrister.

The HE+ programme, which is described as a ‘super-curricular’ activity, involves an extended research project and written piece where students create their own questions to answer and consider but within a framework that Cambridge University sets, so in these three students’ cases, Abbey posed some challenging questions about the environment, Ellie looked philosophically yet practically at parental responsibilities and imprisonment for murder, while Joel’s project was based on the political concept of capitalism.

Personal tutor and Second in Student Development David Barrigan runs the HE+ programme at the College for those looking to progress to Oxbridge after finishing A Levels, working alongside the students to bring the best out of their projects, but also the entire experience of taking part and the step up to Oxbridge.

David said: “The HE+ programme helps students understand the demands of Oxbridge study, but is also a fantastic programme to promote these opportunities to those from less privileged background or under-represented areas or backgrounds. These are committed, hard-working students who perhaps had not had the opportunity to even think of Oxbridge as a realistic destination before, but we know that with the right attitude, that any avenue can be open to any student.

“Places at Oxford and Cambridge are not just for public school, private school or grammar school students. Our results prove that students here outperform their grammar school contemporaries, so that is why all of our students have the chance to access the top universities in the country.”

David concluded: “These three have done exceptionally well in their projects and richly deserve their certificates and recognition. We are all wishing Ellie the very best in the national finals where she will do herself and everyone at the College proud.”

Educate Awards - Most Inspirational Sixth Form
Educate North College of the Year 2023
TES Shortlist
Quality in Careers
CE Certified
BePART Educational Trust
Sixth Form Colleges Association
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award