Elly Nowell, 19, recently ignited a media sensation concerning the rejection email she sent to Magdalen College, Oxford University. The A level student did to Oxford what Oxford does to a considerable number of applicants each year. In recent correspondence with Pi Newspaper, Ms Nowell said she personally felt that University College London was “a much better fit.”
After being interviewed for the much-desired place at Magdalen College, the nineteen-year-old deemed it necessary to reject the institution and explain her reasons in an amusing email sent directly to the admissions department.
The email stated, “I have now considered your establishment as a place to read Law (Jurisprudence). I very much regret to inform you that I will be withdrawing my application. I realise you may be disappointed by this decision, but you were in competition with many fantastic universities and following your interview I am afraid you do not quite meet the standard of the universities I will be considering.”
In parody to the thousands of rejection letters sent by the prestigious institution every December, Ms Nowell’s decision to reject Oxford before they responded to her application has sparked reactions of both shock and amusement. Ms Nowell intends to study at UCL, which was an alternative option in her UCAS application.
Ms Nowell suggested to Pi Newspaper that she preferred the possibility of studying at UCL: “For me, UCL seems a much better fit. I love the fact that I had to explain how great getting an offer from UCL was to my family – UCL is an excellent university, yet it has very little of the unnerving and frankly bizarre prestige that Oxbridge has. Also, in contrast to Oxbridge, I don’t believe UCL struggles with taking itself too seriously. I found the atmosphere of Oxford oppressive, UCL simply felt connected, it feels far more like a part of the world.”
She added, “In December I went to an admissions day at Bentham House, the clear and distinctly non-elitist pride that the president of the Law Society demonstrated in his speech was inspiring. UCL has a fantastic history as an institution, and it is a place I can see myself being proud of as a student.”
Despite her recommendation for Oxford to become a more “progressive” institution, recent statistics suggest that only one in seven UK students that had received offers for the Law course at Magdalen College were privately educated.
The student from Brockenhurst College ended her email with the witty suggestion that Oxford should, “perhaps offer a glass of water in interviews next time, it’s rude to torture guests.”