Priestley student awarded Scholar prize by Oxford

Jonathan Perfect who is aiming for Oxford
Jonathan Perfect who is aiming for Oxford

A STUDENT has won a top academic award for his work on an Oxford University project.Priestley College’s Jonathan Perfect won the Scholar Prize in Far East Studies after taking part in the Pembroke North programme.

“I’ve been interested in Japan, its history and culture, for a long time,” said Jonathan.

“I find Japan very exotic and its history, especially the samurai conflicts, is fascinating.”

Oxford’s Pembroke College runs the year-long challenge, which students can only join after passing an interview process.

Five of the successful 28 students who took part in 2013 were from Priestley College in Warrington.

Priestley Senior Tutor Mark Salmon said: “All five students were treated as undergraduates and produced excellent seminar presentations on the Enlightenment based on their wider reading.

“The students have been part of the Graduate programme at Priestley and have developed in confidence and their skills as they apply to university. Jonathan in particular deserves special recognition for his outstanding progress and achievements on the programme.

Throughout the year the candidates on the Pembroke North programme take part in mock lectures and seminars, attend residential schools and produce essays on a range of humanities subjects such as history, classics and philosophy.

Jonathan, a former Lysander High School pupil from Fearnhead, was one of only two students to receive the scholar prize.

His was recognized for a 3,000-word essay answering the question ‘Did the US Occupation lead to more change or continuity between pre and post-war Japan?’ as well as his overall performance.

The 17-year-old, who is studying A Levels in Biology, French, Geography and History, is now applying to read History at Oxford University.

He said studying on Priestley’s unique and prestigious Graduate programme – which aims to prepare high-achieving learners for some of the country’s top universities – had helped him to succeed.

“It has given me opportunities to get involved in debating and helped me with applications to university,” he said.

A Pembroke North spokesman said of those who received the scholar status:  “They have become more confident in themselves and are more comfortable in expressing their opinions and justifying them in an academic way. They have been excellent in representing both Pembroke North and their respective sixth forms and colleges and have been a delight to work with all year.”

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