OXFORD had never been part of the plan for aspiring biochemist Matthew Peach.
But after visiting with Priestley College he fell for the university’s atmosphere and now has an offer to study Biochemistry there starting in October.
“I knew that I wanted to study at university, but I had not considered applying to Oxford until last summer when I visited with Priestley,” said the former Cardinal Newman pupil.
Matthew, who studies A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and German, is on The Graduate programme at Priestley, which is designed to help students prepare for and secure places at Russell Group universities.
The 18-year-old’s offer followed a long admissions process that saw him interviewed at the university in December during a residential lasting several days.
Matthew has also received offers from University of Manchester, University of Birmingham, Imperial College London and University of York, but has yet to decide on a career.
“I am confident that studying a science at university will give me lots of opportunities careers-wise,” he said.
Fellow Priestley student and former Lymm High pupil Abi Barrell was also amazed when she received an offer to study Maths at Queens College, Cambridge.
However, after much consideration she has decided to pass on that offer and hopes to study at Leeds instead.
“I don’t think it would be a good idea for me personally,” said Abi, who is studying A-Levels in Computing, Maths and Further Maths.
“Also I don’t love the idea of living so far away from home for that long, I’d miss it. I’d love to be a primary school teacher because I adore working with children and seeing people learn things after I’ve explained them.
“This is also another reason why I didn’t take up the Cambridge offer; I don’t need the prestige of a Cambridge degree, however wonderful that would be, to get where I’d like to go in life.”
Priestley College’s principal Matthew Grant said he was proud of Abi and Matthew for knowing their own minds and what was best for them.
“Abi and Matthew have both worked extremely hard during their time at Priestley and it shows great maturity to make such big decisions at this age,” he said.
“At Priestley our goal is to help students reach their full potential, but also inform them of all the available options so they can make fully-informed decisions.”