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“Just read, read and read”

Date Posted: 11/04/2017 | Posted In: Latest news

Three of the most gifted and enthusiastic first year English Literature students from QE have been inspired by a study day at Oxford University’s English faculty. Competition for these places was stiff but Beth Petterson, Holly Westgarth-Graham and Jill Alanguilan all impressed in their written applications with their enthusiasm as well as their academic success so far.

The visit involved lectures form Oxford English professors and a mock interview which helped to dispel a lot of student myths about Oxbridge and the interview process. All three students were impressed by how down to earth, friendly and enthusiastic the staff were and by how many of the student guides came from comprehensive schools. Beth commented, “I would never have thought Oxford was achievable for me, but I am now seriously considering applying.” As the professor in charge of admissions pointed out: “We’re not looking for right or wrong answers in interviews, just interested students who relish conversations about books. The only way to guarantee not getting in is not to apply!”

Cressida Eastwell, English teacher at QE who took the students, said: “I was so proud of our students and the excitement with which they discussed some of the ideas raised in the lectures. This was noticed by one lecturer whom I overheard commenting to a colleague on “an interesting group of girls from the North!”

“If you want to read English at Oxford or anywhere else, just read, read and read,” advised Professor Lucinda Ramsay.  Back at Q.E., this has inspired more students to join the College’s reading group and Holly to set up another informal one of her own.

QE has an excellent tradition of helping students to secure places at Oxford or Cambridge universities so these three English students would be in very good company if they do decide to pursue this route. We wish them every success!