Ashleigh Weir

Wales High School, Rotherham 
English student at Downing College, Cambridge

Ashleigh comes from an area in the bottom 18% in England for progression to leading universities. She was a Linacre student in 2014-15.

She says: “Beforehand, competitive universities seemed out of my reach. What really changed my attitude were the people we were introduced to throughout, many of whom had studied at Oxbridge despite having come up through state schools. For the first time, Oxbridge seemed a lot less like some unattainable destination.

I found I began to see Literature from a whole new perspective, and it gave me a fresh appreciation of the subject. I found myself saying things – really intelligent things, that I wouldn’t have dreamed could have come out of my mouth just a couple of months before!

The Linacre Institute has opened my eyes to a lot of new and exciting possibilities with regards to the future. Friendships have been formed which I hope will last for years to come; it was amazing to spend time with such lovely, hilarious and like-minded people. It was really encouraging to be in a room full of people whose innate passion and flair for the subject matched your own.

I felt inspired. I was left itching to get to university, and what’s more, it seemed so much more achievable. The Linacre Institute acted as a springboard to help propel us into the best position when applying for top universities. I utterly loved every single moment of the experience.”