Alfie Denness

Alfie Denness- Candidate for
Access Initiative Rep
Hi I’m Alfie, a first year studying History, and I’d really
like to get involved in the Access Initiative at Sidney.
I’ve experienced first-hand the wariness that people
from certain backgrounds feel about applying to a
university like Cambridge. In my Sixth Form, I was the
only person who applied here, and while there were
others who were undoubtedly both intelligent and
committed enough to be successful at Cambridge,
they were put off by a feeling that it ‘wasn’t for them’
or that they ‘wouldn’t fit in’. This was a result of prevalent myths about Cambridge and the
people that study here. Now I’m here, I can see that these myths are just that, and I’ve
found Sidney to be an extremely inclusive and diverse environment in which to live and
study. However, without the work of groups like the Access Initiative, peoples’ negative
perceptions of Cambridge will not go away. I think I’d be good for this role for a few reasons:
As I mentioned above, I went to a school without a strong history of applications to
Oxbridge, so I understand the difficulties this can bring, including having no teachers
with much of an understanding of the admissions process for things like practice
interviews and a student culture which regards Oxbridge as something unattainable
and often undesirable.
I’ve also experienced first-hand the generous financial provision the college can
provide, so would be able to counter the widely believed myth that Cambridge is a
really expensive place to study
I’d like to think I’m generally quite an open, friendly person, so I think I’d be able to
communicate well with sixth form/college students.
I’ve had experience in the past of a similar role at my Sixth Form, talking to students
in Year 11 and encouraging them to stay on and do A Levels.
I’m passionate about reducing inequalities in the education system, and would love the
opportunity to make a small contribution towards this goal. Thanks for reading!