Dr Padley inspires students to apply to Oxbridge

High achieving A Level students from NPTC Group of Colleges have been busy prepping for top university interviews recently.

The students from Neath Port Talbot, Powys and Bridgend Seren Hubs were left inspired to achieve the best A Level results possible after an aspirational talk on personal statements and academic interviews from Cambridge University’s Ambassador Dr Jonathan Padley.

Jonathan, whose full-time role is the Widening Participation Officer and Admissions Tutor for Arts at Churchill College, Cambridge, is a member of the Children’s Literature Association and the International Research Society for Children’s Literature. He became an Honorary Research Associate in Swansea University’s Department of English Language and Literature in 2011, where he also completed his PhD. Jonathan has since worked with the Department for Education and Skills at the Welsh Government, and his work has been critical to the Oxbridge Ambassador for Wales’ project and the subsequent implementation of the Seren Network.

Over the session, the students were given a valuable insight, help and guidance on fine tuning their applications, how to write a show-stopping personal statement and what to expect in an interview with a top university such as Oxbridge. This not only included a presentation, but examples of videos, a question and answer session and a group discussion on a topic chosen by Dr Padley.

As part of the talk, Dr Padley wanted to inspire the students to achieve the top A Level results needed to gain entry to university such as Oxbridge. He said:

“I want the prospect of high entry requirements to light a fire inside you to achieve those top results at A Level. Top universities like Cambridge want you to aspire for the best as we know that there is a direct correlation between A Level attainment and excelling at university.”

Tessa Jennings Head of the 6th Form at NPTC Group of Colleges, and one of the Seren co-ordinators for the NPT, Bridgend and Powys Seren network added:

“Jonathan’s insight into the academic interview process was inspirational to all of our learners who participated in the session. The College’s 6th Form Academy has an incredible success rate for A Level achievement that currently stands at a record 99.9%. Being part of the Seren network further provides students across the hub with access to inspirational workshops such as the one delivered by Jonathan; it also plays an instrumental role in raising aspirations and motivation when applying to competitive universities.”