2021 has been a year like no other for our students and we are incredibly proud of what they have achieved. Despite considerable challenges brought by the COVID -19 pandemic, 21 Loreto students have received an offer from Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The 21 Oxbridge offers (10 for University of Oxford and 11 for University of Cambridge) cover a range of subject areas at the two globally respected institutions, from Medicine, Modern Languages and Law, to Engineering, Land Economy and Philosophy. This makes a total number 70 offers in three years.
The successful students come to Loreto from a variety of high schools from across the region, including Salford, Stockport, Oldham and Manchester. Those with Oxbridge potential are identified by GCSE results and academic performance once they arrive. They are then offered a bespoke programme designed to develop students’ debating and thinking skills, whilst providing insight into, and knowledge of, the application process. It includes presentations from university staff, a competitive university conference and a number of practice interviews. An in-house team of specialist teachers has years of experience in guiding applicants successfully. Academics from both universities regularly visit Loreto and deliver a range of sessions including subject specific classes and application seminars. They aim to make sure that the students are suited to the demands of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge (ranked 1st and 3rd in the Times Higher Education World rankings) and will thrive in the demanding academic environment.
Loreto College is the North West lead of the University of Cambridge HE Plus Hub. This initiative is designed to challenge academically the brightest young people in our inner cities, to raise aspirations and encourage applications to very selective universities. Each year over two hundred students from Loreto and other partner schools and colleges take part in a range of academic extension classes, degree level masterclasses and visits, which develop and challenge them throughout the year.
The college is not prepared to rest on its laurels however and is looking constantly at ways to improve. Feedback from students highlights the bespoke guidance offered, allied to hard work and perseverance, as being crucial factors in their success. They also cite the importance of seeking out opportunities beyond the curriculum, demonstrating initiative and looking for work placements and experiences in addition to those facilitated by the college.
Principal, Michael Jaffrain said:
“I am very proud of our students and their efforts in this, probably the most challenging and rigorous university selection procedure in the world, with the added pressure and challenges that the pandemic has brought them. In addition to being truly gifted and committed students, they are a credit to the schools from which they originated, a credit to the specialist staff with whom they have worked at Loreto College and they deserve every success in the future”.