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So this is what it’s like at Cambridge, Swanley kids discover

PUBLISHED: 14:19 05 February 2009 | UPDATED: 14:01 05 October 2010

Amin Habib, Lorik Ismaili, Zak Allali, Marcus Boyea, Anwar Hussain and teacher Hannah Watson

Amin Habib, Lorik Ismaili, Zak Allali, Marcus Boyea, Anwar Hussain and teacher Hannah Watson

PUPILS from Whitechapel’s Swanlea Secondary have spent a day in Cambridge learning about student life at one of the world’s leading universities. The 16 youngsters from East London were identified as gifted and talented’—the top five to 10 per cent of pupils in their school

PUPILS from Whitechapel’s Swanlea Secondary have spent a day in Cambridge learning about student life at one of the world’s leading universities.

The 16 youngsters from East London were identified as gifted and talented’—the top five to 10 per cent of pupils in their school.

Their trip was organised to raise pupils’ aspirations and give them a taste of what it might be like to go to a top university like Cambridge.

It had completely changed their ideas about university life, according to one youngster.

“People in East London think it’s impossible to go to Cambridge,” said 15-year-old Shah Alom. “They think most Cambridge students would be from private schools, but nearly 60 per cent come from State schools.”

The pupils attended talks on higher education and the Cambridge collegiate structure, before having lunch in the panelled hall at Gonville & Caius College, then going on to attend two mini-lectures to give them an idea of undergraduate level teaching.

The visit was a chance to get an inside view of Cambridge and be able to ask questions.

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