Cambridge University beckons for two students who have been offered places at the world-leading centre of learning

Cambridge University beckons for two Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College students who have been offered places at the world-leading centre of learning.

Laura Kirkpatrick and Ben Rogers-Newsome, both 18, hope to start their degrees there in October, should they make the grade as expected in their current A level exams.

They are currently sitting their exams and will know in August if they have been successful.

But while Laura has her future well mapped out, Ben remains unsure where his learning journey will take him.

Laura, from Whitley Bay, plans to sit a six-year degree in medicine at the university’s Queens College, should she gain two A* and an A from biology, chemistry and maths.

Although unsure of exactly which branch of medicine she will go into, she has been sure of her general goal for four years.

Ben, from North Shields, is studying physics, maths, further maths and additional maths, and also needs two A* and an A.

He plans to take a degree in physical natural sciences at Trinity Hall which will take a minimum of three years and could become four.

Despite finding physics of great interest, he says he does not want to pursue it as a career and is as yet undecided what his post-study path will be.

Laura said: “Studying at Cambridge is a great opportunity for me, although I was a little surprised to be offered a place.

“My first interview went well but my second wasn’t quite so good, but the university must have seen something it liked.

“I’m excited at the prospect of going there, should I get my grades, which I very much hope to do.”

And Ben said: “I was the opposite to Laura in that my first interview went pretty badly but my second was much better.

“We both see studying at Cambridge as a fantastic opportunity. It is, after all, a renowned university.

“I find physics interesting, but I don’t want to do it as a career. I like computers, so whatever I choose will probably be something to do with that.”

Both Laura and Ben, who joined Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College from feeder school Marden High, in Cullercoats, were offered places at other universities.

Laura could have joined Birmingham University to study medicine or bio medicine, and UCL for medicine, and Ben Birmingham, UCL and Manchester.

Of their two years studying at Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College, Laura said: “It’s been a good place to learn and there has been good support from lecturers.

“You are treated as an adult and allowed to get on with your studies, largely through your own initiative.”

And Ben added: “I have enjoyed my time here and I’ve benefited from the fact that it attracts good people who want to work hard.

“The lecturers are there to give support when you need it, but they allow you to study in the way you feel is best for you.”

Lee Patterson, Head of Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College, said they were great examples of naturally intelligent students who were prepared to work hard to achieve their goals.

He added: “They have shown themselves to be diligent, committed and dedicated to their learning.

“They are academically gifted, but they have also applied themselves to their learning throughout their two years here.

“Ben and Laura are currently sitting their exams and I expect them to achieve the results they need to get to Cambridge.

“They are a credit to this sixth form college and to themselves.”

Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College is a leading centre in the North East for A levels and Access to HE programmes, and also boasts specialist creative arts facilities.

It part of the new Tyne Coast College, created in August 2017 from the merger of Tyne Metropolitan College and South Tyneside College.