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Year 12 students learn from recent alumni about renowned university courses and destinations

Published on 11/05/21

The opportunity for Year 12s to ask questions on an informal basis from those Stephen Perse graduates who are currently studying at renowned universities was particularly welcome at a recent event organised by Dr Allison Curry, Head of Guidance and Careers. Hearing from recent alumni is always highly beneficial for students in the Sixth Form as they plan the next stage of higher education and career options.

The event, held virtually to follow current pandemic protocols, hosted students studying a wide range of subjects at prestigious universities including Law at Kings London, Physics with Astrophysics at Exeter, Human, Social, and Political Sciences at Cambridge, Medical Anthropology at UCL, Egyptology at Edinburgh/Cambridge, Maths at Warwick, Land Economy at Reading, Music and Drama at University of East Anglia, Fine Art at Edinburgh/St Martins and Medicine at Anglia Ruskin University.

Staged on an informal basis (without teachers present), the subjects ranged from the challenges of making friends at a new university, accommodation tips, the value of ensuite bathrooms, clubs and societies, to job prospects following Liberal Arts degrees. Year 12s also asked about personal statements and bluffing a way through interviews, all topical for their peers who very recently had been in precisely the same situation.

Dr Curry said: “Narrowing down interests to specific university courses can be hard for many students, as is the concept of choosing one university in favour of another. There are also the usual concerns about leaving home, the challenges of meeting new friends and rigours of independent undergraduate education. These are all daunting to some extent at this stage in education.”

Dr Curry continued: “Speaking to past Stephen Perse students who are currently studying at our more popular destinations, and those taking courses through either A levels or the IB route in Sixth Form, provides a chance for our current year 12 students to ask informal questions perhaps not possible at Open Days.”

Nadia, Year 12 student commented: “I really enjoyed the Alumni Q and A session. It was exciting to see the wide range of interesting paths graduates of our school have taken. I found their comments and advice very helpful - both motivating and reassuring - and was grateful for the opportunity to hear from people who had such recent experience applying to and studying at university. It also worked (surprisingly) well over Google Meets!”