FOUR-STAR student Mia Cokljat is off to university - despite being rejected by all four places she applied to.
The 18-year-old, from Bents Green, was rejected by Oxford, Edinburgh, Bristol and Nottingham universities to study medicine, despite being predicted to achieve A* grades in biology, chemistry, maths and French.
She endured two months of despair believing she would not be off to university like her fellow sixth-form students at Tapton School, Crosspool.
But, out of the blue, Mia was offered a chance to study medicine in Edinburgh, where she is now headed after achieving the top marks forecast by her tutors.
She was just one of the students celebrating their exam results across South Yorkshire yesterday, with headteachers announcing an ‘excellent year’ for the region’s schools.
An increased pass rate has been shown at the highest grades, which appears to buck this year’s national trend, where fewer A-levels have been scored at the top grades, the first drop for more than two decades.
This summer’s results show 26.6 per cent of A-level entries achieved the top two grades - down from 27 per cent last year.
Exam chiefs have insisted the drop was down to more, and a broader range of, candidates taking A-levels.
Mia said she thought her situation was a ‘common occurrence’, fuelled by a lack of university places.
She said: “There just aren’t enough places, the universities are making
it up as they go along.
“The process isn’t as fair as it could be. I worked hard all my life and ended up with four rejections.”
Mia’s dad Davor, 48, said his daughter had been devastated when the stream of rejection letters arrived earlier this year.
The software developer said: “She applied to four universities and by mid-March she had been rejected by all of them.
“She needed interviews for Oxford and Nottingham but not for Edinburgh. It was devastating, all of her teachers were absolutely shocked, she was one of the top students.
“There was no logic.”
Davor, who is originally from Bosnia Herzegovina, said Mia had always been a high flier, gaining a clutch of A* grades in her GCSEs. She has two younger sisters and also lives with mum Alexandra, 46.
He said: “I never dreamed in a million years that we’d have a problem getting her into university,” he continued.
“Then, out of the blue, in mid-May, Edinburgh said they had some other places and made her an offer. It
was like a Christmas present, really. She’d already been doing volunteering work before studying medicine, she was thinking she’d have to spend another year volunteering.
“I think this year universities are offering fewer places, because if they make too many offers then they have to suffer some penalties.”
Mia said she felt ‘really good’ about her results
and was interested in a
career in neurology after
finishing her five-year degree.
“I’m looking forward to it,” she said.