20-20 Elite Universities Programme

St Andrew’s Senior School has many exceptional students with the talent and work ethic to succeed at the top universities in the world. Our 20-20 Elite Universities Programme aims to encourage these students and ensure more of them attain places in the best universities, including Ivy League in the USA, and Oxbridge/ Russell Group in the UK. This month the School invited a number of Old Turians and guests to the School, who are currently studying at top universities. They were able to share their experience about life in these famous institutions and the testing application process. They were keen to answer questions and provide advice to the current Turi students, encouraging them to aim high!

Lisa Achoki (former Head Girl) and Vanessa Turyatunga (an Old Turian) visited, having studied at Yale and Bristol respectively. During her application to Yale, Lisa found that a lot of emphasis was placed on her course work and not just on her final grades. She also found that the entry examinations focused on getting to know her as a person, as well as her academic merits. Vanessa explained some differences between the UK and American Universities. UK institutions focus more on the academic achievement and want to see the passion applicants have, for their chosen subject.

Areeg and Farzanah are both studying a Masters in Engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge. They gave an informative presentation outlining their experiences at Cambridge and how best to prepare for university interviews. Areeg emphasized the importance of critical thinking over mere regurgitation of facts. She said that questions come in all forms and students should be prepared for surprises. Areeg’s father explained the Mr Martyn, our Head of Science, has had such a positive influence on his daughter, teaching her at school but also setting up practice interviews to help prepare for real life university interviews. Farzanah encouraged students to make the most of their summers/ long holidays, doing work experience or charity work. She is passionate about helping Kenyan students to get into the best universities. “We need to demystify these institutions”, she said. “Kenyans have the potential to be the best”.

The St Andrew’s Senior School students found the talks very helpful and informative.