Inspiring, nurturing and empowering young people with a vision impairment.

Tobias has his fingers crossed for the University of Oxford!

Current Sixth Form student Tobias, who is a languages and musical marvel, has high hopes to achieve the grades he needs from NCW to get into the University of Oxford.

Tobias is currently studying German, Spanish and Music at A Level. He is a great lover of music, has featured in many NCW musical productions, and is working towards his Grade 8 in Piano. 
Tobias has Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, which means that he can only see light and occasionally shadows.

The Sixth Former recently found out that he had been offered a place at St Edmund Hall, also known as Teddy Hall, at the University of Oxford to study German and Russian. The offer has been made on the basis that Tobias will achieve three grade A’s in his current A level subjects.

Why did you want to apply for Oxford in particular?

“I applied to Oxford as I was attracted to the idea of attending a prestigious university and felt that the course being offered was most appealing and would help me with my future plans. This along with the fact that the lectures and tutorials are taught by world leading experts, the community is smaller with like-minded students who have fought just as hard to be where they are, along with the increased chances of being hired by world renowned companies.”

After university Tobias is hoping to work for GCHQ as one of the translators and possibly do some freelance translation when he can.

Are there any challenges you think you may face?

“The course will be challenging for different reasons. With beginners Russian, the challenge will be in learning a completely different alphabet along with a whole new Braille counterpart! For German, the challenge lies with grammar. I feel I can overcome these challenges with time and with my prior knowledge, especially with German. The course also has a literature aspect which explores broader themes which will open discussions, dive into origins of words and deeper dives into subject content.”

How did you find the process of applying?

“The process of getting into Oxford was an interesting journey, especially as the UCAS website does not have access to information such as admission tests so all of the communication with the university is done over email! I took the admissions tests on the 3 November, which along with some written essays (one in German and one in English) was submitted to the university for evaluation. I was then invited to attend three interviews!”

What are you most looking forward to?

“I’m looking forward to meeting new people; on my visits to the university I found everyone really friendly and welcoming. I am also looking forward to the lectures and tutorials, and gaining as much knowledge and learning from them as I can. There are also great music facilities such as recording studios and a chapel which I’ll be looking forward to using!”

One of the biggest things that young people who are vision impaired take in to consideration when applying to universities is accessibility.
From Tobias’ experience, Oxford’s accessibility is great, and if they don’t have everything, they have plans that they can put in place to help students that may need different access needs. Much like NCW, Oxford has a transcription service available so that materials can be brailled and made accessible where needed.

Good luck Tobias!

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