King Edward’s has an excellent track record of enabling students to progress to competitive universities and high-flying careers. Our Aspire programme supports extremely able and ambitious students in reaching their goals, through a range of activities and opportunities designed to challenge, inspire and guide. It has two distinct strands:

  • A diverse and stimulating programme of external speakers open to all students and staff 
  • A more intensive programme of timetabled classes, offered, on a selective and competitive basis, to those who are aiming to make applications to Oxford or Cambridge, or for medicine, dentistry or veterinary science at other universities.

The taught programme provides:

  • the opportunity for students to hone the key skills of critical thinking and effective communication which are essential to successful application and study at Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities and institutions.
  • information and guidance on the more complex, and earlier, application process for Oxford and Cambridge (known collectively as Oxbridge), and for the medical pathway subjects, including detailed, bespoke, feedback on personal statements, preparation for the required admission tests, and practice interviews with experts from the relevant field of study.
  • Visits to Oxford and Cambridge where students are able to participate in masterclasses and residential programmes, and to other relevant external events
  • Close liaison with the Outreach Officers from Oriel College Oxford, and Girton College Cambridge, who represent their universities in the local area, and with former students as buddy mentors for current applicants.
  • Opportunities to acquire skills in formal debating and to compete in prestigious student debating competitions.

Aspire encourages students to develop their areas of knowledge and interest beyond their main areas of study. It actively fosters the attitude that EVERYTHING is interesting, that orthodoxies should be interrogated, and that nothing should be outside the realm of debate.

Need more information?

The King Edward’s Aspire Programme Coordinators, Nick Barley and Sue Dobson, can be contacted from a college email address via the Aspire internal mailbox   or from an external email address via  or

Whether you are applying to Oxbridge or not, this programme is still more than worthwhile. It is intellectually stretching.

Aspire participant

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