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On June 11th 2014 we welcomed parents and students in Year 9 upwards for an event that would provide insight into how universities select students. There were two focuses of this year’s university admission event:

1. The changing qualification landscape and how universities view these: the interpretation of A Level and GCSE grades and the International Baccalaureate qualification.

2. The responses that some universities are making in terms of new, inter-disciplinary courses and the importance of transferable skills.

The theme was “Connected Thinking – What Universities Want”. On one level, this seems very straightforward; they want excellent grades at GCSE and again at sixth form level. There is no question that outstanding examination results are a passport to success. With rising percentages of Grade As in public exams, halted only in the past two years, performing strongly in public examinations is critical to university options. However, we feel our responsibility goes beyond simply getting our students to university thereby fulfilling the first leg of their journey. It’s about helping our students develop the skill base and the dynamism to make the most of their opportunities when they get to university and beyond.

We were delighted to welcome:

Carl Gombrich, Programme Director of the new interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences BASc undergraduate degree at UCL,

Roberto Cipolla, Professor of Information Engineering at the University of Cambridge

Peter Fidczuk, the new UK Development Manager for the IB