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【SCMP Education Post:寄宿學校攻略】MPW on a mission

School Guide


Hong Kong students with lofty academic aspirations are blessed with choice in the UK. Recommended by Britannia StudyLink (BSL), Mander Portman Woodward (MPW) is one of those rare independent organisations offering bespoke fifth and sixth form education where those academic dreams can transform themselves into reality. Three Colleges, three historic cities and one culture of success in suitably informal, thoroughly professional and attractively modern educational environments … 

Formed in London in 1973 by three Cambridge University graduates, the MPW Group has worked tirelessly over the past few decades to transform itself into one of the most esteemed British independent college brands. MPW comprises three fifth- and sixth-form colleges in London, Birmingham and Cambridge which all offer a full range of modern resources and facilities.

In terms of student enrolment, 1,100 students are on roll each year. A more than respectable proportion of these are British students (75%) and less than 10% are Chinese. UK-based students also tend to dominate the roll for shorter Revision courses. Around 150 spaces are reserved for international students each year across the Group and they can be guaranteed to benefit from extensive interaction with the majority British student body. Hong Kong students have confirmed to BSL in interview the extent to which their language and cultural skills have been honed at MPW.

Naturally, GCSE and A-Level courses are the mainstay of MPW’s academic curriculum.  GCSE courses are held at all three sites though MPW London offers a broader variety of IGCSE subject options. However, a few subjects, such as economics, are not offered in the capital but at one of the other two colleges. GCSE students from Hong Kong can be certain that the examination technique and academic rigour, which MPW places emphasis on, will stand them in good stead when it comes to post-16 study. GCSE and A-level courses are guaranteed to have fewer than 10 students in each subject class.

Regarding A-level courses, MPW offers an extraordinarily comprehensive array of options. In addition to the traditional two-year A Level courses, there are also 18 month, one-year and one-term A level courses. The one-year courses, for instance, may suit Hong Kong students who wish to transfer from the HKDSE to an A Level conversion course.

In keeping with MPW’s commitment to designing bespoke academic programmes around each student’s best interests, candidates may choose to study any number and combination of A-level subjects. As standard, MPW prefers the 4/3 model which means most two-year A-level students will study four subjects during their first year, dropping to three for the second year. This gives students flexibility and adds breadth to a student’s profile. The EPQ is a strongly recommended extra at MPW.

In addition to GCSE and A-level courses, there are also a range of Foundation courses available at MPW. The College is licensed to teach the one-year University of London International Foundation Programme whereby Hong Kong students will gain the skills and knowledge required for the demands of undergraduate study. Modules include Mathematics and statistics, Economics and Politics. MPW also delivers a one-year International Art Pre-Foundation course for those who would like to study Art, Design, Fashion or Photography at Foundation level at a UK university. Students may also be accepted onto degree-level programmes at a number of the UK’s art universities.

MPW has an admirable record when it comes to results and entrance into Oxbridge and other prestigious Russell Group universities. Last year fifteen students gained places at Oxbridge Colleges, while 76% of international students secured places at Russell Group institutions. MPW also has an enviable record in preparing students for specialist university courses, such as Dentistry and Medicine. Indeed, 49 students have entered medical school in the last two years. Finally, MPW boasts a 100% admittance record into the University of the Arts London (UAL) over the last 12 years.

Overall, MPW attracts crackerjack students who are stimulated to reach their goals by specialist teachers. The College Group was rated ‘Excellent’ in all areas by the ISI in its most recent inspection and one can see that the College does not solely focus on results but also takes pastoral care, extra-curricular provision and the social and cultural development of its students very seriously. Regularly held careers-related seminars are another outstanding feature of MPW. Britannia StudyLink recommends MPW as a perfect stepping stone to undergraduate study and university life in general.


Picture: MPWLondon Twitter

Article by Samuel Chan, founder of Britannia StudyLink

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