Professor Adrian K Dixon, Professor of Radiology at the University of Cambridge, Honorary Consultant Radiologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Master of Peterhouse, the oldest of the Cambridge University colleges, is set to visit the Fens to talk to a selection of pupils from local secondary schools about careers in medicine, applications to Oxford and Cambridge, and his thoughts on aspiration.
Professor Dixon will be hosted by Sir Harry Smith’s Community College this summer, with students from Neale Wade Community College in March, the Cromwell Community College in Chatteris and the Thomas Clarkson Community Colleges in Wisbech invited to attend.
The visit has been arranged following my recent letter to Professor Dixon highlighting the low number of applications from local students to Oxbridge and asking for his help. Last year no state student from North East Cambridgeshire went to Oxford or Cambridge, and just one student applied. Given that on average only one offer is made for every four applications, there is clearly scope for improvement.
I have visited each of our secondary schools in the constituency and have been greatly impressed by the talent and energy of students. Oxford and Cambridge set demanding requirements in terms of exam grades, and a lot of work is being done by Heads and teaching staff to deliver this alongside their students. The new multi-million pound investment in secondary school buildings in Cambridgeshire also provides a positive basis for future success.
As part of the first generation in my family to go to university, I know how daunting the application process can be, and how local pupils could benefit from a place at a leading university.
Professor Dixon will be able to dispel many of the myths that have grown up around Cambridge University, and show pupils from North East Cambridgeshire how they could fit in and benefit from applying. As one of the leading scholars in medicine and a world class academic he can help to inspire our students to consider a career in this field, or in science more generally. I am sure it will be a memorable occasion for all those who attend.