Bedford School hosted a rare and wonderful talk from Mary Curnock Cook, Chief Executive of UCAS on Wednesday 15 June 2016.

The highly informative and insightful talk by Mary Curnock Cook not only covered the current landscape for admissions and the value of a university education in bridging the gap between Sixth Form and the real world but also different ways to think about course choices. 

Speaking to pupils, parents and staff from Bedford School, Bedford Girls’ School, Bedford Modern School, Bedford Academy, Biddenham Upper School and Mark Rutherford, she encouraged pupils to get their parents to ’butt out’ of their university decisions.  It was ultimately the pupils in attendance that would undertake their chosen paths, and these should be based on their dreams and aspirations, not their parents' memories of their uni days.

Mary Curnock Cook also encouraged the pupils to "Dream every day of a course that no-one you know is applying to", and expand their horizons by inventing their future selves and open their eyes to the opportunities and to the future.

Interspersing a mesmerising talk with personal anecdotes, Mary Curnock Cook showed warmth and understanding to an audience who peppered her with perceptive and interesting questions.

Her final advice, timely and relevant:

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do

– Mary Curnock Cook, Chief Executive of UCAS.

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