Charlotte Li will being reading Mathematics at Oxford this year

In January, five of Pippa’s Guardians international students nervously opened their letters from world-renowned universities Oxford and Cambridge; the prestigious institutions are notoriously difficult to get into and tens of thousands of students apply each year in the hopes of achieving a place in their historic, hallowed halls.

But after a great deal of diligent work, preparation and support, these Pippa’s Guardians students found themselves reading five letters of acceptance, and will all matriculate – formally register at their respective colleges – in October.

Charlotte Li has been studying at Malvern St James and looked after by Area Manager Clare Carter, and has secured a place at Oxford to study Maths; Clare and Charlotte only just made it to her interview in time after Charlotte was snowed in this December, but ever-resourceful Clare was able to dig her out and get her to Oxford with 45 minutes to spare. Clare said that Charlotte is an ‘amazing girl,’ and reported that one of Charlotte’s teachers said she is ‘the most gifted student she has ever taught.’

Trinity Hall Library, where Sophie will study for part of her Engineering degree

Sophie Li has been looked after by Regional Manager Helen Edginton during her time at Shrewsbury School, and has been offered a place at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, to study Engineering. Helen was delighted and said that she felt ‘as proud as her own mother must be’, and with good reason; over two thousand candidates applied to Cambridge to study Engineering this year and only eight were granted places at Trinity Hall; one of Cambridge’s oldest and most beautiful colleges. Sophie said that her offer was ‘unbelievable’ and ‘that it all feels quite unreal’.

Sophie’s mother, Yan Lu, said this:

I have to say I wasn’t expecting Sophie to get a conditional offer from Cambridge, and neither was Sophie! It was totally a surprise, but I believe Sophie has the potential to study in Cambridge. Her passions not only lie in her dedicated subject but also lie in studying itself. I think that’s what won her an offer from Cambridge.’

Emma Wrath is heading to Oxford to study Theology and Oriental Studies

Emma Wrath, at Badminton School, has been offered a place at St Peter’s College to study Theology and Oriental Studies; she is very excited to start there and effused about her subject and the opportunity to study it at Oxford;

I believe Oxford’s academic excellence will help me develop and thrive in my field of study, surrounded by other, equally enthusiastic, students. I also think that the tutorial system will be very beneficial through supporting, yet also challenging me in order to explore ideas I perhaps wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. With the combination of Theology and Oriental Studies I am very much looking forward to learning Arabic which will give me access to original source material, giving me a better understanding of many aspects of the Islamic faith.’

Peterhouse or St Peter’s College, Cambridge’s oldest college, where Emma is due to start in October

Emma’s mother Helen had these rather touching words to say:

‘I am very proud of her. I came from Hungary; I am a doctor but I never dreamt of getting a place at Oxford; it is something that seems to only happen in dreams…I know that it is so much work to achieve this result. Last year there were a lot of tears, sadness; but now it is much more acceptable with this achievement. Emma is fantastic, she can be focused over long time. It is difficult to teach that it is not possible to get everything, but at the same time it is important to be brave enough to dream big.’

And lastly, congratulations to Jake He; looked after by Area Manager Vicky Dickinson at Loughborough Grammar School, Jake successfully applied to study Natural Sciences at Emmanuel College, Cambridge – as well as being granted offers at both Imperial College, London and University College, London to study Physics. Jake is taking his A Levels in Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry having already achieved an A* in Maths. Vicky said:

‘Jake is an outstanding Mathematician and Scientist. Last year whilst in Year 12 he was awarded the prestigious Roentgenium Award in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge. This resulted in a 3 day residential Chemistry course at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge during the summer holiday. Over 7000 of the best Chemistry students across the UK participated in the challenge and Jake was one of 55 students in the country who successfully achieved the Roentgenium Award.’

We’d like to congratulate Jake for this outstanding achievement, and his success continues this year as he progresses to the second round of the British Physics Olympiad. He gave this sound advice to future Natural Science and Physics applicants;

‘The Olympiad style questions can be very helpful practice and preparation since the papers are written by the same group of people that are doing the interviews’. Jake is looking forward to securing his place and starting at Cambridge where he will study Maths, Physics, Computer Science and Earth Sciences in his first year.

Pippa’s Guardians would like to thank the Area Managers for their ongoing support throughout these exciting and challenging times, and congratulate our students on their offers. We look forward to following them as they progress into their university life; we are all thrilled and cannot wait to see where their fantastic achievements might take them.