Abu Dhabi joy for gifted student Maisie

GRADE EXPECTATIONS ... Maisie McCormack has won a place studying at New York University in Abu Dhabi.
GRADE EXPECTATIONS ... Maisie McCormack has won a place studying at New York University in Abu Dhabi.

A GLOBE-trotting student from South Tyneside is all set for a university challenge in the Middle East.

Maisie McCormack, from Westoe, South Shields, has won a full scholarship at New York University in September after seeing off competition from more than 1,000 students for the place.

But the 18-year-old Newcastle Sixth Form College student won’t be taking a bite out of the Big Apple, as she is packing her bags to study economics at the university’s campus in Abu Dhabi.

Maisie has already clocked up plenty of air miles. She was one of 100 students chosen to visit Yale University last summer, spending a week on campus and visiting other elite US universities including Princeton, Harvard, Columbia and Smith.

She then competed with 1,200 UK-based students for one of 150 places on the Sutton Trust US Programme, which encourages academically talented, low to middle income British students to consider applying to American universities.

Maisie said “I was absolutely overwhelmed to receive such a generous offer of study from New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), as I was aware of how rigorous their selection processes are after the candidate weekend in the United Arab Emirates.

“The Sutton Trust have supported me throughout the application process, and I can never repay their efforts.

“Enormous gratitude also has to go to my lecturers at Newcastle Sixth Form College.

“Without my tutor David Coe and lecturers Aaron Brownlees, Ashleigh Bell and Alan Wareham, who all wrote phenomenal references, the next four years of my life would certainly not be at NYUAD, which was my first choice university worldwide.

“This is a huge opportunity for me, and one I am extremely grateful for.”

NYUAD is among the most selective universities in the world, with a 0.9 per cent overall acceptance rate in 2012.

Maisie attended a candidate weekend in December, where she had the opportunity to spend time with the faculty and meet other finalists as the final part of the selection process, completing classes and interviews in the United Arab Emirates.

David Coe, Maisie’s personal tutor at Newcastle Sixth Form College said: “Maisie has worked incredibly hard for this opportunity both in and outside of college.

“In addition to being a top student academically, she has an unrivalled portfolio of extra-curricular accomplishments, which is highly valued by foreign universities.

“Her potential is unlimited and she is fully deserving of this wonderful opportunity.”