Graduating from school is undoubtedly one of the most significant milestones in our lives. When we begin the journey at the age of five or younger, it seems that moment of release will never come; and yet it does, even this year when much of what we take for granted has been swept off our agendas.
In King’s College Murcia, the moment was marked virtually with videos made by students talking about their favourite memories with teachers and videos from teachers talking about their favourite memories with students. Photos through the ages were compiled by IT expert Andrew Brett and the students chose words to describe each other that were printed around the photos. As Secondary teacher Jennifer O’Brien remarked, “It was very personalised and everyone loved it.”
Unfailingly resourceful, other King’s College schools sent their Year 13s out into the world in a similarly unconventional manner, mostly in the direction of university to study everything from Medicine to Music Production and Sound Engineering.
King’s College Madrid had their first student accepted by the prestigious Ivy League College, Cornell, in the US, but the majority of King’s graduates are headed for the UK with several students bound for the world’s fifth and seventh best universities – Oxford and Cambridge – according to the QS World University ranking for 2021.
Also in the mix is the London College of Fashion, the establishment that gave us Jimmy Choo and which was placed second on Fashionista.com’s list of The 25 Best Fashion Schools in the World in 2016. In fact, it is said to be harder to get into than Cambridge and second only to Oxford, both seats of learning where students are able to interact with some of the most prominent scholars on the academic map.
“We have lots of students going on to Britain’s greatest universities, some of which rank in the QS World Top 10, including UCL and Imperial College London, and in the QS World Top 20, such as Edinburgh, not to mention other famous names such as Bristol, Bath, Manchester, Exeter, Glasgow, and most other members of the Russell Group,” says Paul McNally, Secondary teacher at King’s College Madrid. “Then there are the students who will be attending other elite US universities and we are waiting for the publication of the listas de admitidos in Spain, when we shall have more great news to come. We are also waiting for students to take final decisions on whether to attend universities that have given them offers in the Netherlands, Italy and the Republic of Ireland.”
The UK has always been a favourite with King’s graduates and this year is no exception – 48% from King’s College Alicante are heading to Britain, with 12% gaining places at a UK Top 10 university, 38% at a UK Top 20 university and 57% at a UK Top 30 university.
But horizons are broadening with Holland and Denmark surfacing as favoured destinations among King’s pupils as these countries expand the number of degree programs taught in English.
Five per cent of students from King’s College Alicante are headed to the Netherlands, a country that ranks number 6 on the Global Talent Competitive Index (GTCI) – a measure of a society’s ability to attract, nurture and retain talent.
Holland has some of the best universities in the world with students and tutors enjoying a close relationship, so it is not surprising that it now boasts one of the world’s biggest communities of foreign undergraduates.
Around 16% of the student body comes from abroad and those graduating with a Bachelors degree or a Masters from a Dutch university have a good chance of finding subsequent employment within Holland itself.
Universities in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Leiden focus heavily on student responsibility, expecting undergraduates to be actively participating during class, and sharing their ideas and opinions with fellow students. It is an approach that King’s students will find familiar as encouraging independent thought has always been at the core of a King’s College education.
Higher education in Denmark is also designed to promote creativity, innovation, analytical and critical thinking. Ranking fifth on the GTCI, this Nordic powerhouse has taken great leaps towards a greener economy and a cohesive society, both of which are founded on an up-to-date learning environment where students can draw on the expertise of industry specialists and undertake internships in internationally recognised organisations.
Together with Germany and the Czech Republic, 7% of King’s College Alicante graduates have been accepted by universities in this forward-looking country, which also provides university graduates with ample employment opportunities,
It is, of course, the mark of a truly international school that graduates feel confident enough to spread their wings and really explore the opportunities on offer across the globe. While around 40% of King’s students have opted to pursue courses closer to home, around 60% are carving a path for themselves that will cement their identities as global citizens, ready to take on the world as so many of their predecessors have done before them.