Year on year the success of Loreto students applying to and receiving offers from top universities is impressive: 2020 is no exception. The 24 Oxbridge offers (12 for University of Oxford and 12 for University of Cambridge) cover a range of subject areas at the two globally respected institutions, from Medicine and Law, to Human, Social and Political Sciences and Philosophy. This makes a total number 71 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 Cambridge University 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, Peter McGhee 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. 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.”