A Varsity Education programme gives students a unique opportunity that most applicants never have; the chance to experience studying and living in Oxford or Cambridge first-hand before their application. Furthermore, most students have to tackle a highly competitive admissions process with little, if any, expert guidance on personal statement writing, academic interviews or university entrance exams. At Varsity, we thoroughly prepare students for every step of their university application.
The majority of students conduct online research into courses and universities they are interested in and, if they are able to, attend an open day to learn more. It is virtually impossible for international students to attend these valuable open days, and they give little insight into the day-to-day experience of student life. This means that for many, going to university can be a leap into the dark.
Varsity Education provides an alternative to independent research and fleeting campus visits. Our two week, academic residential programme gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in university life and experience an authentic Oxbridge environment. By studying a version of the first year syllabus under Oxbridge academics within Oxbridge colleges, Varsity Education alumni will feel confident that they are choosing the right university, colleges and courses. Furthermore, they are taught how to excel in the admissions processes of Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities.
Unlike other programmes, our entire academic staff consists of Oxbridge academics. As a result, our students get first-hand insights into the Oxbridge admissions process from undergraduates who have experienced interviews and the academics setting the aptitude tests. Important skills are reinforced through extensive workshops on interview techniques, exam preparation and personal statement writing. Ayesha, an alumni from our Cambridge Summer College 2017, said that she has “a better understanding of universities within the UK , especially Oxbridge, and that in turn has soothed some of my worries going forward with the application process; interviews in particular. I feel much more confident going forward.”
Varsity’s programmes help students decide which subject would be best suited to them. We offer a choice of two of the most popular Oxbridge subjects to study and students are taught through a series of morning seminars and one-to-one and two-to-one tutorials, which replicates the teaching style at Oxford and Cambridge. This small group teaching greatly expands students’ subject knowledge which will help them demonstrate academic curiosity as they go through each stage of their application.
Zahra, an alumni from our Oxford Summer College 2017, explained that Varsity’s programme “helped me reconfirm that law was definitely the course for me, and I was never bored. I learnt about the basics of many of the core topics, which allowed me to pinpoint my specific interests in the subject.” Another of our alumni, Mohadeseh, told us that “my morning classes were extremely captivating. Everything that we learnt in my law lessons always led to discussions in my 1:1 tutorials.” This tutorial system, unique to Oxbridge, helps cement students’ understanding of the course material, and identifies strengths and areas for further development or research.
Our programmes help students feel more relaxed about going to university in general. For most people, moving to a new city to study, especially when that city is in a foreign country, can be a daunting prospect, and many university students are living apart from their family for the first time in their lives. On a Varsity programme, our students get to experience living on campus at Oxford or Cambridge, explore the city and get a taste of the unique university atmosphere.
University isn’t just about academic development and success – it’s also the opportunity to forge new friendships, explore different places and grow as an individual. Our student Emelie said that “my history classes were my favourite, but also the friends I made all across the world. I came to realise that despite our cultural differences we are all open-minded young people with a love for learning and similar interests and passions. I also really enjoyed our trips to Cambridge and Warwick.” Our students get to sample the opportunities that student life offers whilst having the security of programme staff and college porters available 24/7 to take care of them.
Overall, our programmes leave our students feeling much more confident in their higher education choices and better prepared to succeed in the applications processes of Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities. Of the students who attended our 2017 summer programmes, 99% rated the teaching as good or excellent and 97% said they would recommend a Varsity programme to their friends and family.
For more information, download our brochure.
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