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North West Science Network Summer School offers Xaverian students a glimpse into university life

Seven Year 12 students from Xaverian College recently visited Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, to participate in this year’s North West Science Network Summer School.  

The partnership between Corpus Christi College, Xaverian College (Manchester), Cheshire College – South & West (Crewe), and Blackburn College (Blackburn), aims to engage students from the North West with research-level science and scientists, and is designed to further equip them to make informed choices about higher education, and to support them in their application and entry into university.

The weeklong residential was packed with a range of activities, lectures, puzzles and challenges which culminated in students presenting ‘Poster Projects’ to academics from the University of Oxford. Students also had the opportunity to visit Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, which is leading the world in developing fusion power – the ultimate source of electricity, where they had a mini tutorial before touring the site. The week ended in the laboratory, where students got to explore live atoms using a powerful electron microscope.

Kelly Chen, A Level Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics student, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Corpus Christi College! Everything was very well structured, including the lectures, the project and other experiments we did throughout the week. I found the chemistry ‘escape room’ experiment most interesting, even though it was challenging. It was really interesting to gain an insight into what university life is like as we start to prepare for our next steps.

Jason Lin, who is also studying A Level Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics, added: “I found it particularly fascinating to learn more about the research and development of fusion energy through confining a plasma of hydrogen isotopes at extremely high temperatures and pressures during our visit to the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy. I aspire to study at one of the most esteemed universities, so gaining the opportunity to meet Professors and current students and find out more about the admissions process has been invaluable.”

Lee Jackson, Careers Advisor, who accompanied the students on the residential, commented: “It is important that we continue to work closely with students to boost their skills and confidence through a variety of academic and professional programmes, such as the North West Science Network Summer School, to ensure they are well-equipped when applying to secure highly competitive offers at prestigious universities. All of our students returned to College informed and inspired about their futures!”

This year, following months of intensive preparation, ten Xaverian students received offers to study at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. Gaining their places was the culmination of significant additional work over two years by the students, who were all part of the College’s specialist ‘Oxbridge Programme’, a unique and tailored programme that prepares students to apply to these universities.

Xaverian College is an outstanding catholic Sixth Form College in Greater Manchester offering exciting opportunities to over 2800 students. With a wide range of A Levels in addition to several Applied Courses to choose from, ‘Discover Your Future’ at xaverian.ac.uk.

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