Strode’s College and Windsor College celebrate Oxbridge success

Students from both Strode’s College and Windsor College are celebrating the news that they are on course for Oxbridge with offers to study Law, Psychology and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge. Strode’s also has three first year students who have dramatically improved their chances of studying at the University of Oxford having been accepted onto the University’s UNIQ Summer School.

Each year over 6000 first year A level students apply to attend UNIQ. Only 1350 are offered places for the five-day residential which is designed to give an insight into university life, enable students to meet like-minded people and gain an understanding of a subject which interests them. Nathan Gage will attend the Engineering programme, Carmina Mudura has been accepted on to the Oncology programme and Roxana Knop, the Biology programme.

John Marrill, the tutor for Strode’s gifted and talented A*spire programme and the Oxbridge coordinator said: “Being accepted onto the UNIQ programme does not guarantee an Oxford offer but it certainly helps! There is a good correlation (34%) between students attending UNIQ and receiving offers so it is certainly worth students investing their energies into getting on the programme. We’re very proud of Nathan, Carmina, Roxana and our Cambridge offer students and their desire and determination to take advantage of the different enrichment opportunities which are pivotal to the Aspire programme.”

A*spire is Strode’s programme for its most academically able students. It is designed to expand horizons, be challenging intellectually and provide support to assist students to become competitive candidates for the most prestigious courses and universities.

A key aspect of A*spire is the encouragement for students to embrace super curricular endeavour. From complementing and expanding their learning with public lecturers, wider reading, academic podcasts, accessing academic radio and TV programmes, to completing MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and attending museums and exhibitions.

Commenting on being accepted onto the UNIQ programme Roxana said: “The A*spire programme has encouraged me to challenge myself and apply for enrichment opportunities of this nature." Nathan added: “The residential will provide valuable experience and lessons regarding life on a university campus," and Carmina said: “I feel honoured to have been given this opportunity.”

Along with celebrating his Oxford UNIQ offer, Nathan Gage has also been successful in winning a place on The Sutton Trust US Programme which gives bright, state school students a taste of life at a leading American university. The all-expenses paid programme includes a one week visit to the US to get a taste of US higher education and culture. Commenting on how A*spire has made a difference he said: “A*spire has allowed me to see international opportunities of this nature as a reality, rather than a dream."

The vast majority of A*spire students have gone on to study at Russell Group universities on highly competitive courses such as Computer Science at ICL.  In the past two years four students on the programme have successfully gained places to study Biochemistry, History, PPE and Engineering at the University of Oxford.

Strode’s College celebrated record-breaking A Level results in the summer with a 99% pass rate, and both colleges achieved a flawless 100% pass rate for 16 April 2019their BTEC courses.

To find out more about A Levels, BTECs and the A*spire programme please go to

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