My visit to Cambridge - Aisha, Year 11

On October 17, twenty-three Year 11s from different regions in London and Essex were given the opportunity to step foot in the fourth oldest surviving university that has recently been ranked number 1 best in the world.

Following my recent successful participation in the Jack Petchy ‘Speak Out!’ challenge I was offered an opportunity to visit Corpus Christi Cambridge University, with my fellow regional winners and grand finalists. It was organized by the ‘Speak Out!’ Trust and was aimed at inspiring us to aspire to one day attend universities of such pristine status’.

We travelled to Cambridge, by train where we had an opportunity to meet our fellow finalists either for the first time or the first follow up since June when the Grand Final took place.  Upon arrival we had been set a busy scheduled for the day ahead involving a tour of the campus including the historic Parker Library - a treasure trove of rare medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, as well as early printed books. From this stemmed a discussion between finalists on the 6th-century Gospels of St Augustine and the oldest manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

We were then given the pleasure of engaging in a law based debate with Professor Kenneth Armstrong entitled ‘should judges be appointed or elected’. This particular exercise was an excellent opportunity to get an understanding of law at degree level, communicated in a professional manor between a lecturer and our own peers.

The day was concluded with advice and guidance on admissions for the future if we do wish to apply to Cambridge University and talks with undergraduates about general Uni Life – leaving us with a big decision for the future.

Aisha, Year 11