A taste of university life at the GDST Oxbridge Conference

The seventh annual GDST Oxbridge Conference took place at Clare College, Cambridge on the 8-9th July. It was wonderful to welcome over 100 students from across the GDST, all with the potential to apply for, and succeed at, Oxford or Cambridge Universities.

During the course of the weekend, the girls took part in university-level seminars by leading figures from the two universities, and presentations from our own staff, from business, and beyond.

It was fascinating to note subjects that were of particular interest this year. Biology, physics and languages were well represented, and there was strong demand for politics and economics, undoubtedly connected to current world events.

During the conference, students heard from Mary Hockaday, Controller of BBC World Service (English), Oxford High alumna, and GDST trustee, about her career path after studying at Cambridge. Dame Carol Black, Principal of Newnham College, shared her experience of influencing government.

Students also heard insights and gained invaluable advice about the application process from the GDST’s own Dr Kevin Stannard, Dr Sam Lucy, Director of Admissions at Cambridge University, and Cathy O’Neill of Oxford High School. This learning was subsequently put to good use in interview practice sessions.

A highlight of the weekend from a student perspective is always the opportunity to participate in subject seminars. An enormous thank you to all members of staff who gave up their time to share their interest in their subject. Some members of the team have been coming to the event since its inception, while others were attending for the first time. On behalf of the students, we’d like to the following members of staff for their contribution to an extremely productive weekend:

  • Debbie Summerson-Fenwick, Newcastle High School for Girls
  • Will Dixon, Putney High School
  • Alison Henshaw, Nottingham Girls’ High School
  • Colleen Robertson, Newcastle High School for Girls
  • Dawn Sadler, Howell’s School, Llandaff
  • Francis Chalmers, Norwich High School for Girls
  • Rachael Pallas-Brown, Oxford High School
  • Cathy O’Neill, Oxford High School
  • Hannah Hughes, Howell’s School, Llandaff
  • Tom Cannon, Blackheath High School
  • Raphael Heath, The Royal High School, Bath
  • Mark Fuller, Sheffield Girls’
  • Naomi Smith, Brighton & Hove High School
  • Antonia Corrigan, The Royal High School, Bath
  • Alison Smith, Trust Office
  • Will Wareing, Trust Office
  • Karen Kimura, Trust Office