BRIGHT young things learned how to win a place at two of the world's best universities.

Bolton staged its second Oxbridge Conference for the borough's ambitious students.

It was attended by students from Canon Slade, Rivington and Blackrod High School, UTC Bolton, Bolton Sixth Form College, Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton School and Turton School who have their sights set on studying at Oxford or Cambridge universities.

The 80 sixth-formers were given expert tips from Natasha Hall, a Bolton School old girl, who graduated from Downing College, Cambridge in 2018 in classics, and Gaia Lambert the Schools’ Liaison and Access Officer from St John’s College Cambridge. The two were joined by teaching staff in Bolton to explain the application process and how to stand out from the rest.

Anna Carruthers of Rivington and Blackrod High School said: “I am hoping to study Natural Sciences at Cambridge.

"My predicted grades in Chemistry, Biology and Physics are A*s and As.

"What inspires me to apply is that many great discoveries were made at Oxford or Cambridge and I want to be part of that! I am building up my supra-curricular activities by expanding my knowledge beyond my A-level subjects.”

Shreya Kamath, who is studying at Bolton School, added: "I am aiming to study Computer Science at Imperial College or Cambridge.

"It’s the best place in the world for Computer Science.

"I want to eventually do a Masters in Engineering and I feel like I’ll get unlimited opportunities if I go to Cambridge.

"There are good rates of students getting careers in the areas they are interested in and I think I’ll have a good foundation for the future. Oxbridge is valued by many companies across the world and I think it will give me a better chance to get the job I want.”

This year’s Oxbridge Conference, organised by Bolton School in partnership with Canon Slade and Rivington and Blackrod Hifh School, built upon the success of the inaugural conference held in 2019. It was held at Bolton School.

Gaia offered a thorough overview of applying to competitive universities and she highlighted points of difference between the universities. The students were given a step-by-step guide to applying, including preparing for aptitude tests, writing personal statements, completing online supplementary questionnaires and, of course, preparing for the interview.

They were told of the importance of 'supra-curricular activities', which are relevant to the subject that a student is applying for.

She said: “It is not enough to say you are interested in a subject, you need to back it up with solid reasoning and explanations. You need depth to your application and to exhibit your passion for learning."