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Aim for best universities, Treasury minister tells students

Published on 01/02/18

One of the Treasury’s top ministers has told Thetford sixth formers: “Don’t be afraid to set your sights on the UK’s best universities.”

Liz Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, told students at Thetford Academy how a passion for politics led her to study at Oxford University following a state education in Leeds and Scotland, and opened the way for a high-flying ministerial career.

She visited the school on Thursday, February 1 to answer sixth formers’ questions about her education and career path, which has seen her hold the roles of schools minister, environment secretary, and justice secretary, as well as becoming the first ever female Lord Chancellor in 2016.

Her current role, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is second only to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the department.

At Oxford University she studied politics, philosophy, and economics – a popular course for would-be politicians, with an alumni list including David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Michael Heseltine, Ann Widdecombe, and Yvette Cooper.

“I was already a politics obsessive as well as a computer geek,” Ms Truss told the sixth formers, “but the economics part of the course ignited a fascination with business and how the economy works.”

Ms Truss answered the students’ questions about how to choose a university and course, and the Oxbridge application process, which she described as “really interesting”.

“Don’t be put off by the interview process - it’s actually lots of fun,” she added.

Ms Truss also dropped in on Year 11 and Year 8 maths classes to share her passion for the subject.

“Maths is a vital subject and opens up lots of opportunities,” she told students, urging them to continue working hard at school to achieve the career they want.

Thetford Academy principal Kevin Blakey said: “Several of our sixth formers are hoping to study at Oxbridge, so it was really helpful for Ms Truss to share her experiences with them.

“We want all our students to achieve their full potential and Ms Truss’ career is a great example of where hard work and dedication can get you.”