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Submitting a successful university application

With a vastly experienced Head of IB and a University Advisor on our staff, Regents aims to give its students the best possible chance of securing places at their first choice universities – whether that be in the UK and Europe, North America, Asia, Australia or elsewhere. Having access to that sort of expertise is important, because each country will have its own central application portal (such as UCAS in the UK), each with different requirements.



  • Applying to University: Thinking Futures

Essentially, what most universities are looking for is the answer to the following two questions:

Will this student complete the course?

Will they go on to get a job (or do research) related to the subject when they finish?

First and foremost, you need to meet the academic standards required to access the course. In your application, this is highlighted in your tutor's reference and predicted grades.

Second, you must show an interest (preferably a passionate interest) in the subject area, as well as the ability to commit to something and carry it through to completion.  You application should also explain your desire to study at a particular institution, your interests outside of your studies and your ability to settle into a new environment. In these respects, an important part of many applications is what is commonly known as the Personal Statement.

The part that should come at the top of the Personal Statement is your passion for the course.  This will come in the form of describing particular personal experiences, demonstrating that you are already reading around the subject, or that you have gained work experience in a related field.

Make sure your Personal Statement highlights the exceptional things you have done in your life. If you have great sporting or community achievements don’t bury them deep in the Personal Statement, make them prominent. The aim is to set yourself apart from everyone else who is applying for that course.

Equally, don’t just list the things you have done, explain them:

“This year I have been a Pillar Leader, which I have really enjoyed.”  (Incorrect)

 “My role as Pillar Leader in the school has helped me to develop my interpersonal skills. I now understand that leading is as much about listening as it is about talking. This has had a real impact on the way I work with others, and I am far more confident and effective when completing group tasks.” (Correct)

Your Personal Statement should also reflect the transferable skills that you have gained, which will be of value at university. Regents students are able to make particular reference to the following skills:

  • Leadership and teamwork (e.g. through participation in Outdoor Education)
  • Communication skills (e.g. through public speaking)
  • The ability to live harmoniously as part of a community (e.g. through being a part of the boarding community)
  • An understanding and empathy for people from very different backgrounds (e.g. through our Global Citizenship Programme, Round Square membership)

Always refer to your documentation. Make sure it is in order and get the opinion of others. This document is you, on paper. Aside from your marks, this will be the difference between securing a place at your first choice and second choice university.

 “A statement filled with errors will give a negative impression of your skills and the effort you have put in to being accepted.” UCAS 2013

It is important to have your spelling, grammar and punctuation in order. Following the deadlines for document presentation is also paramount. Failing to adhere to these very strict guidelines will almost certainly result in your application being rejected.