Recently a group of Sidney students took time out from their Easter revision break to help encourage school pupils in the North West to consider higher education.

Fifteen students, several of whom come from the North Manchester and Lancashire areas, visited eighteen schools in the region to talk about their experiences of applying to and studying at university. In particular, they wanted to dispel some of the myths about Cambridge, and show that the university is accessible to students from all backgrounds. Pupils in schools across Manchester, Oldham, Bolton, Bury and Wigan heard why the Sidney students decided to apply to Cambridge, how they found the interview process, and what their daily life is now like.

The student-run access tour is now in its fifth year, and always receives excellent feedback from schools and colleges. Our students also found it an enjoyable experience: Izzy Bowen, a first year English student who took part in the tour, said "It was great fun and very rewarding. The best things were meeting lots of lovely new people and simply the feeling that you may have helped someone take that one step closer to university and/or Oxbridge. Being able to give reassurance about university to those who might not otherwise consider it is very special. I think that's why the trip is so useful - the pupils can hear from students themselves about university and Oxbridge and that stays with them for much longer than if they'd heard it from 'adults'."

The tour was organised by Emily Iliffe, a second year Economist and SSCSU Access Officer, and Charlotte Howell, a first year Economist. Charlotte commented, "You're talking to people who are interested in everything you love, and having people eager to hear about your experience feels really nice. When someone says they're considering university now because of you, that's just amazing." Charlotte, Emily and their friends represent a diverse range of subjects, from Science and Engineering to History and Law.

This is an archived news story, first posted in 2012.

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