Typically, two thirds of our Upper Sixth leavers take up places at UK universities each year. Most of these apply before they have taken their final A level or IB exams, but a number each year choose to apply after their results, taking a Gap Year between school and university. Pupils are encouraged and supported in their planning throughout their time at Malvern. Formal advice and support usually begin in the Hundred (Year 11) in conjunction with the choice of Sixth Form courses. During the Lower Sixth (Year 12), pupils are able to research their choices of course and institution in greater depth. They have access to the Unifrog platform which offers a pathway through the decision-making process, bringing together a wealth of information, and they attend a Universities Fair in College during the Lent term at which leading universities give presentations. In the Summer term, we hold our UCAS day at which pupils begin the formal application process: UCAS is the central clearing organisation for almost all UK university courses. Opportunities are provided for pupils to visit universities and to attend Open Days. Pupils who are considering applying to Oxford or Cambridge are able to participate in visits to the Universities, where they experience the style of a “tutorial” (Oxford) or “supervision” (Cambridge), meeting academics from colleges as well as Old Malvernians who are current undergraduates. Academic departments within the College and our own UK Universities team provide support including extra lessons and seminars, interview practice and advice on the specific tests that are required for some Oxbridge applications.
In the Autumn term of the Upper Sixth, pupils finalise and submit their UCAS applications which include the candidate’s own personal statement. This is an opportunity for pupils to ‘sell’ themselves, and whilst we offer support, it is important that the personal statement is the candidate’s own evaluation of his or her academic and other interests and ambitions.
Each year the significant majority (65-80%) of our UK applicants obtain places at prestigious Russell Group Universities (those renowned for their research-led academic excellence), with many others going to other institutions which are world-leaders in specialist fields such as Agriculture and the Fine Arts.
About a third of the leavers will go on to a university in the US, Canada, mainland Europe or elsewhere outside the UK. We have a trained team of US admissions counsellors who help any potential US applicant through the procedure from start to finish. Pupils are required to sit SATs (standardised admissions tests) for entry and Malvern is now a SAT centre offering the test six times a year. Pupils who wish to apply to any other non-UK university (this year, we have applicants to Australia, Hong Kong, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Switzerland and Shanghai) benefit from advice from the school's Head of International University Admissions.
A good number of pupils take a gap year between school and university and the process of organising such programmes can be a little daunting for pupils. The well-stocked Careers Library has information about many organisations, which offer gap year programmes and the accumulated experience of past years enables the Careers Department (together with a pupil’s Sixth Form tutor) to offer advice about the opportunities available and appropriate choices that a particular pupil might make.
2017 Leavers' Destinations
This year, in addition to Oxbridge offers, 275 Russell Group University places were offered in a wide range of subjects; popular options including Business, Economics, Law, Engineering, Biological and Biomedical Sciences and Modern Languages. 79% of applicants obtained a place at their first-choice institution; 66% of places are at Russell Group Universities. Particularly popular universities have been Durham, Exeter, University College, London, Imperial College, London, and various other Russell Group Universities.
In 2017, 29 pupils have gained places at International Universities: to the US (e.g. Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Northeastern, Boston, Columbia, UC San Diego, George Washington, New York University); several to Università Bocconi in Milan; one to IE University in Madrid.
In the Lower Sixth, SAT preparation has been particularly successful this year, with several Malvern College candidates scoring 300 points above the US High School average and three candidates gaining maximum marks in their subject tests.
In addition to attending conferences at various American universities himself, the College’s International Universities Applications Officer led a school trip to America during the Summer, where pupils were given the opportunity to visit various universities and colleges throughout the American Northeastern seaboard.
University admissions presentation