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Schools Liaison Officer


+44 (0)1223 338910

Schools Liaison

We recognise that there are often perceived barriers which deter students from applying to Cambridge, so we want to ensure that students, teachers and parents and supporters are as well informed as possible about the Higher Education options open to young people and particularly the Admissions process and what student life is like at the University of Cambridge.

We seek to be clear, honest and open about our Admissions policies and so we want to work closely with schools to remove misconceptions about Cambridge and to help students as they think about their futures and whether or not Cambridge may be for them.

We are always pleased to hear from any individual, parent or school, wherever you are, interested in visiting Girton College or acquiring more information on the University of Cambridge. We are more than happy to arrange individual visits to meet specific needs and answer questions.

University Area Links Scheme

We also organise school visits through the University of Cambridge Area Links Scheme. Wherever you live in the UK, the Links scheme puts you in touch with someone in the University who can support and guide you. Contact our Schools Liaison Officer.

The scheme is not prescriptive – you can contact any College. For more details and to find your link College please see the College Area Links Scheme page on the University website.

Girton is linked with Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, and Wolverhampton, and with Camden in London. If your school is in these areas, we would be delighted to hear from you. As part of this scheme we run various events for students from Year 7 upwards as well as for parents and supporters and teachers. We visit schools as well as host school visits at Girton College itself.

Visits to Girton

At Girton College we are always happy to have visitors as we believe this is a key way in which we can help raise the aspirations of students as well as give them advice on applying to the University.

We have two aims in our work with schools:

  • To encourage applications both to the College and to the University from students with high academic ability, enthusiasm and potential, by showing them the attractive and excellent facilities and support we have here at Girton, as well as in Cambridge as a whole.
  • To raise the aspirations of students as they consider their futures and therefore seek to remove perceived barriers which many have in their thinking about Cambridge and going to university in general.

Visits to Girton take many forms; from individuals and small groups of Year 12s, to larger groups of Year 10s and 11s (up to 40 students) thinking about University for the first time. Our Open Days for sixth formers are also great opportunities to find out more about Girton and applying to Cambridge.

Year 12s

At such an important juncture we seek to support students as they try to make decisions with often confusing pieces of information. We run visits for Year 12s to Girton College with the aim of being clear and open with students about our application process, what we're looking for and how we support our students, as well as what it's really like to live and study in Cambridge. We believe one of the best ways students are going to be inspired to work for the grades they deserve is to spend some time in a real university. To try and make visits to Girton as valuable as possible for those involved we would not normally have a group larger than ten Year 12 students from the same school. However, we are very happy to have more than one school visit at the same time.

Examples of activities we run for Year 12 students:

  • Mock lectures
  • Presentations on applying, writing personal statements and interviews
  • Question and Answer sessions with Admissions staff and undergraduates
  • Tours of the College and City Centre

View a sample programme for a Year 12 day

Year 10s & 11s

We realise that applying to university may seem very far away to Year 10s and 11s or perhaps may not have entered into their thinking at all. However, decisions they make during these years will affect the options open to them when they come to apply to university. Therefore we seek to raise their aspirations with regards to how they view their GCSEs, to advise them on subject choices and keeping options open, and inform them about university, giving them a flavour of what student life is like.

Examples of activities we run for Year 10s & 11s

  • Subject themed sessions
  • Activities based on applying to and living at university
  • Presentations on Higher Education and the University of Cambridge
  • Question and Answer sessions with undergraduates
  • Tours of the College and City Centre

View a sample programme for a Year 10 & 11 day

Visits from Girton

We realise that it is not always possible for schools to send groups of students on visits or may seek our engagement with younger year groups. Therefore the Schools Liaison Officer and Admissions Tutors are available to visit schools to speak with students, parents and supporters and staff.

The programme for an event in your school would be directed by the same aim of encouraging students to think about Higher Education and inform them of the realities of student life and Cambridge University.

We can run sessions for Years 7, 8 and 9 such as 'Aspiration assemblies' which introduce the concept of university and higher education. Sessions for Year 10s and 11s challenge them to think on the choices ahead of them. For Year 12s, sessions would be a more in-depth look at how to go about choosing a course and the Admissions process at Cambridge in particular, as well as advice on writing personal statements, attending interviews and Oxbridge in general. We are also happy to attend other events such as HE Fairs and Sixth Form Open Evenings.

As it is our aim to encourage applications and to widen participation we wish to have contact with as many schools as possible. If you were to request a visit to your school we are happy to speak to large groups including students from other local schools.  Experience has shown that this has significant value in raising the aspirations of young people in a local area. We are always happy to hear from schools in our Link Areas who wish to request a visit from us.