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News article

16th March 2023

11 St Brendan’s students have secured a place on the University of Oxford’s elite UNIQ 2023 programme. UNIQ is the University of Oxford’s access programme for state school students. The programme prioritises places for students with good grades from backgrounds that are under-represented at Oxford and other universities.

Every year around 6000 students apply for a place on the programme from all over the UK and the university allocates around 1500 places.

UNIQ 2023 includes an online support programme and an in-person residential in Oxford in the summer to help students to decide if Oxford is the right university for them.

Each student will have the chance to explore the subjects that interest them along with the opportunity to get to know Oxford undergraduates and to attend lectures, labs and tutorials.

The programme begins in April, with academic courses in the summer, and culminates with one-to-one university admission support.

According to UNIQ, every year more students from diverse backgrounds get offered places at Oxford with their help, so this is a fantastic opportunity for our students.

The opportunity for our students to apply for UNIQ was presented by our ASPIRE Programme Leader Paul Wright and John Chescoe who runs our Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) programme.

If you would like to learn more about our ASPIRE Programme please click here [LINK] and to find out what an EPQ is click here. [LINK]

We caught up with some of our successful applicants earlier this week to find out what they are most excited about!

Destiny studies A-Levels in Psychology, Biology and Chemistry plus Core Maths and an EPQ at St Brendan’s. She plans to go to University to study Psychology or Biomedical Sciences however she isn’t sure what University to apply to yet so this programme will hopefully give her some great insight.

B studies A-Levels in Maths, English and Law and has been accepted onto the Linguistics course on the UNIQ programme. Oxford University has organised transport for B to complete the course on campus which she is so grateful for. B hopes to study Law at Oxbridge University once she has completed her courses at St Brendan’s.

Hazel is an English Literature, History and Politics A-Level student. Hazel feels that the College staff encouraged her to apply and gave great advice. Hazel has been accepted on the English course which involves the study of Shakespeare’s The Tempest as well as other literature studies, such as poetry analysis. Hazel is looking forward to the residential and online components of the programme. At the moment Hazel is planning to study English Literature at University however she is considering freelance journalism/creative writing whilst studying at University.

Jasmine is studying English Language and Literature, Dance and Law A-Levels at St Brendan’s.Jasmine was encouraged by her teacher to apply for the programme as she is doing incredibly well in her studies. Jasmine will be completing the course at Oxford University and is looking forward to staying in the student accommodation. Once Jasmine has completed her journey at St Brendan’s she hopes to study at a Russell Group University. She is unsure what course she would like to study but hopes that the UNIQ programme will help her decide.

Taya is a Biology, Chemistry and Geography A-Level student who is also completing an EPQ. Taya is interested in studying Earth/Environmental Sciences or Biology at University after St Brendan’s.

James is enrolled on Computer Science, Physics and Further Maths at St Brendan’s. James hopes to study Physics at University once he completes his studies at St Brendan’s.

Zoja studies Biology, Chemistry, Psychology A-Levels and Core Maths at St Brendan’s whilst completing an EPQ. Zoja plans to study a Biology related course at University…possibly at University of Oxford depending on how they find the UNIQ programme.

Tyler is currently studying Biology, Chemistry and Geography A-Levels. Tyler heard about the UNIQ programme via Paul, our Aspire Programme leader, who then helped Tyler to complete his application form and was his application reference. Tyler’s parents have also been super encouraging throughout the process, they were delighted to hear that he is a successful applicant. Once Tyler has completed his two years at St Brendan’s he would like to study Biology or Geography at University, Tyler hopes that attending this programme will unlock more opportunities for him.

Abigail is studying English Literature, Law and Spanish A-Levels and is completing an EPQ.  Abigail is also an active member of our Netball team. Abigail is currently unsure of what she would like to do once she has completed her courses at St Brendan’s but is currently swaying towards studying Law at University.

We’d like to thank our ASPIRE and EPQ team for encouraging our students to apply for this great opportunity at the University of Oxford. We cannot wait to catch up with the students later this year to find out how they get on.