Combatting the Statistics
In the 2020 admissions cycle, only 107 students from the Republic of Ireland applied to Cambridge for an undergraduate degree. Of the 107, only 6 were successful. In comparison, 140 students applied from Northern Ireland in the same year, and 28 were successful (a success rate 14.4% higher than the Republic).
It is, of course, difficult to be admitted to Oxbridge. However, the reason for such low figures is mainly due to little understanding of the UCAS application process and therefore less encouragement from teachers and parents to apply. Schools in Northern Ireland complete UCAS rather than the CAO, and for this reason their Oxbridge admissions statistics are far higher than the Republic's.
'Irish To Oxbridge' seeks to breakdown these barriers by providing the necessary information to launch a competitive application to Oxbridge as an Irish student. We do this by 1) explaining the UCAS application process, 2) providing links to blogs, videos, and other useful material, and 3) publishing the stories of successful Irish applicants that were once in your shoes.
Hi! I'm Paddy (on the right in the photo above), and I'm studying Law at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. I began to consider applying to the UK for university when my History teacher at Leaving Certificate recommended that I do so at a parent-teacher meeting.
Looking back, I now know that the biggest barrier for Irish students is knowing what Oxbridge are looking for in applications. Plenty of people are smart enough to be accepted but end up being rejected due to a lack of understanding of the application process. I was fortunate enough to have got in touch with an Irish student studying in Cambridge at the time, who provided me with key pointers regarding background reading, the Personal Statement, and interview preparation. I genuinely do not believe I would be writing this as a Cambridge student without his support.
It is for this reason that I sought to create a 'bank' of information tailored towards the prospective Irish student, hopefully providing the support that I was lucky enough to have received. If there is any further information that you think might be beneficial, please do use the contact form below and I'll strive to include it on the site!