Kettering schoolboy Finlay lands Cambridge University place - without an interview

The 18-year-old from Raunds was offered the place straight away

Saturday, 12th December 2020, 7:00 am

A student at a Kettering school has made admissions history by being their first pupil to be offered a place at the University of Cambridge without having to be interviewed.

Year 13 student Finlay Smith, who attends Bishop Stopford School in Headlands, had applied to study chemical engineering at Pembroke College and the university said it would be 'inconceivable' not to offer him a place staight away.

He was delighted when he heard an interview had been scheduled for him but thought he had been pranked when he received an email saying that the interview was now cancelled and he was being offered a place.

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Finlay, who is from Raunds, said: "Initially I thought it might be a hoax or that they may have made a mistake. I didn't know Cambridge University did these sort of offers."

The letter from a University of Cambridge admissions tutor said: "I am writing with good news. You have recently received a call to interview email from us. However, given the exceptional strength of your paper application, on reflection, my colleagues and I decided that it was inconceivable that we would not offer you a place after interview, and therefore we have resolved to proceed to an offer without calling you to interview."

Finlay, who will take chemistry, physics, maths and further maths A-Levels in the summer, was one of 18 students from Bishop Stopford School who have been offered Oxbridge interviews - another school record.

The other students have their interviews scheduled during the first weeks of December.

Finlay Smith will read Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge

Arthur Harwood, assistant headteacher at Bishop Stopford School, said: "This is wonderful news and is certainly a first for the school.

"Our students have done exceptionally well during this very difficult year.

"The impact of the coronavirus will be one of the defining features for all of our students and it is a testament to their resilience and hard work that so many of them have gained interviews for Oxford and Cambridge Universities."

Finlay Smith