Maths tutor launches guide to getting into Britain’s top universities

13 August 2015

A Harrogate maths tutor and specialist in university and Oxbridge admissions has launched a step by step guide to help local students secure offers at top UK universities.

Matthew Handy has been a teacher for over 20 years at top-ranking schools including Charterhouse in Surrey and Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, USA, and now runs, a mathematics tutoring business based in Harrogate.

He also founded the Don’t Skateboard project to inspire less privileged young people to consider applying to Oxbridge, which involved taking 11 students to Cambridge for a week where they were immersed in the academic and student life of typical undergraduates including debating at the Union Society, punting on the Cam and learning to cook for a dinner party.

Three went on to apply to Cambridge and all of them were admitted. One of them is now studying for a PhD and another is a trainee actuary.

Having completed three successful university applications of his own, Matthew is now keen to share his experience in time to help this year’s cohort of UCAS applicants.


Matthew, who recently had to complete his own UCAS personal statement again when he applied to, and was accepted by, the University of York to study Physics said:

I was a Kitchener Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where I was awarded an Entrance Prize by Trinity College to study Law and I then went on to take a second degree in Mathematics, becoming the highest scoring student in Mathematical Methods and Models.

As a maths tutor I work with students year after year who are hoping to study at top ranking universities and I frequently mentor them through the process alongside maths classes.

A large part of this process involves encouraging them to understand what they really want to do, what interests and inspires them and how much they want to achieve their goal.

When they’ve thought carefully about these things they find that their UCAS personal statement is much easier to write. Indeed, it should pretty much write itself.

Matthew’s guide Writing Your UCAS Personal Statement: for entry in 2016 is available to download free at

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