We are delighted to report that Yasmin Abdul-Razak (U6) has been successful in acquiring an offer from Mansfield College, Oxford, to read Theology and Religion next year. Yasmin was one of a small group of our pupils who made applications to Oxford or Cambridge colleges this year and we were pleased that two of these pupils were invited to interview. MCM pupils receive a good deal of guidance on how to prepare for both the application and interview process and receive support from the University and Careers guidance team, as well as their HMs and subject beaks. As well as learning about the college system at Oxford and Cambridge and researching their chosen courses in-depth, they undertake rigorous interview practice designed to simulate the experience they will have if invited to the UK for interview. Yasmin undoubtedly benefited from having read a wide range of theological and philosophical texts in recent years, all the more impressive since World Religion was not offered to her year group as an IB option; this sort of independent scholarship is not only vital if pupils wish to demonstrate their commitment to their chosen discipline, but also crucial in satisfying admissions tutors that they are intellectually curious, reflective and genuinely independent in their approach to learning. Pupils who excel academically are not those who wait to be told what to do, what they should read or what the answer is, but, rather, those who seek out information for themselves, who read and explore what interests them personally, and who are prepared to be analytical, critical and reflective when approaching a question or a debate. Yasmin is a fine example of this sort of learner, and a number of her beaks enjoyed interviewing her before she went to Oxford, challenging her to explain the relevance of religion in today’s world, to reflect on how perceptions of religion have changed, and to evaluate various theistic notions. The interview process at Oxford and Cambridge can be unpredictable, but Yasmin’s articulate and confident manner, combined with her clear willingness to engage critically with the subject meant she was well-placed to impress.
We would like to congratulate Yasmin on receiving an offer from Mansfield College, Oxford. Her success should prove an inspiration to other MCM pupils, showing that hard work and a commitment to scholarship and academic rigour can reap rich rewards.