We talked to UK university admissions consultant & expert Sarah Alakija.
A graduate of Cambridge and an ex-deputy head, Sarah has over twenty years of experience in the independent school sector.
Sarah Alakija has consulted for a number of independent day and boarding schools in the UK and abroad, and can offer expert advice both long-term and short-term on all aspects of the UK university applications process.
She has authored four editions of the Trotman guide Getting into Oxford and Cambridge. Sarah Alakija is founder of Charters Education Support.
If you’re looking for education support in our MumAbroad countries of Spain, France, Italy & Germany, view our Educational Specialists page.
[5:00] MumAbroad: What would you say are the most significant changes in the applications process that has led to the rise of specialists such as yourself?
There are a lot more people like me these days. The application process itself hasn’t changed that much, in all honesty. There are technical things, like you no longer handwrite your application, fair enough. And you don’t have to put your choices in order anymore. Those are minor things. I think what’s really changed is the competition. More and more people go to university. We’ve had the removal of the polytechnics as well. We used to have UCA and PCAS. They’ve come together now; it’s the same umbrella application system. So there is a lot more competition. So really the biggest change is having to make your application stand out in a sea of really strong candidates. A level grades go up and up every year. Everyone has great grades. So it’s about changing how you sell yourself to the universities.