Coveted Cambridge spot for Denton student

A DENTON teenager says his feelings are ‘indescribable’ after securing a highly coveted place at Cambridge University.

Oliver Cooney, 17, is set to study linguistics at the Russell Group university following his successful application.

The Dane Bank resident is one of six students from Oldham Sixth Form College to have
been awarded a spot at Oxford or Cambridge University starting this September.

He said: “Getting accepted to Cambridge was honestly indescribable. I did scream and with my mum working next door, she thought I’d broken a bone or something.

“It was a mix of shock and excitement, and honestly a bit of relief; it was like ‘you’ve done it now, you don’t need to worry anymore’.”

The application process for the country’s top universities is as grueling as it is time consuming but, says Oliver, the help he received from the OSFC Oxbridge Group was invaluable.

He continued: “Before the first lockdown we met weekly, either in a large group when there was a guest speaker or in smaller groups, where we discussed the personal statement or the interviews.

“The group ran for almost the whole year which helped demystify the whole applications process, but the Cambridge application was a little more complicated so there were extra preparations.”

With the hardest part of the process now complete, Oliver is looking forward to the next step of his academic career.

He added: “I’m most looking forward to the teaching style; they have these things called supervisions, which are basically like one-on-one conversations with world-leading academics.

“The prospect of sitting and having a chat with an expert in the field is admittedly terrifying, but I also can’t wait. I’d also be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t excited for the balls and formals!

“Hopefully, I want to go into language revitalisation and work with indigenous populations to help document endangered languages – that’s the dream.

“Or otherwise, I’m really passionate about education and academia, so would love to be a teacher or university lecturer.”

Richard Lee, assistant principal and co-ordinator of OSFC’s work with high achievers, was full of praise for the six students who secured Oxbridge places.

He said: “We were thrilled with the students’ offers. They have all shown incredible dedication and fully deserve these amazing outcomes.

“We were really pleased that students have places in such a wide range of subjects, highlighting the strength of the college across all curriculum areas.

“The maturity with which they have dealt with all the complications caused by the pandemic and retained their single-minded focus on their studies and preparations, is entirely to their credit.

“It makes their achievements all the more impressive.”

Ayeza Akhtar (medicine), Molly Aspinall (archaeology & ancient history), Owen Cross (history) and Cian Lomax (chemistry) received offers from Oxford. Oliver Cooney (linguistics). Tooba Zahid (Mathematics) is set to go to Cambridge, as well as Oliver.

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