Sukhbir, who was born in India and came to the UK from Italy two years ago, was recommended by College teachers to achieve A* grades in Physics, Maths and Further Maths.
On A Level results day he was astounded when the Physics grade was downgraded through the Ofqual algorithm to a B grade – particularly since he had previously won a Gold medal in the British Physics Olympiad examination.
Sukhbir explained: “My friend received the email with his results half an hour before me and did not get the grades he was expecting so I was already feeling very pessimistic about my results.
“I knew that the college would appeal the B grade so I did not panic at first but then when the uncertainty about the appeals process starting building, I just withdrew into myself and couldn’t speak to anyone about it.
“I eventually got through to Cambridge by email and they said to keep them informed. I didn’t dare to build my hopes up when we were told that the teacher assessed grades would stand – just in case the university did not accept that.
“When the email came through that I had got in and would be starting at the end of September I was incredibly relieved.
“My family have been trying to keep my spirits up and are over the moon. I can’t wait to start the next chapter of my life.”
Sukhbir has been working in the quality control department of a local food manufacturing business and will continue there until two weeks before he leaves home to go to Robinson College.
“I didn’t have much time to look around Cambridge when I went for my interview and to sit their tests but I was so impressed with what I saw.
“I want to thank everyone at the Joseph Wright Centre at Derby College who have helped and supported me over the past two years – particularly my teachers and the careers advisors who helped me navigate applying of Oxbridge which is a very complicated process.
“I would have much preferred to have sat the A Level exams to prove my worth and I don’t think we have been treated fairly over all this. I feel that our futures have been hanging in the balance and were in danger of being determined by the throw of the dice.
“I therefore regard myself as very fortunate that this situation has worked out for the best for me but I feel very bad for those who have not got what they deserved.”
Matthew Ridgill, Assistant Principal of Academic Studies at DCG, said: “We are obviously extremely proud and delighted that Sukhbir has joined the band of high achieving students who have won coveted places at one of the top universities in the UK.
“He thoroughly deserved the A* grades and we were as perplexed as he was that his best subject was downgraded.
“We underwent a rigorous quality control process to predict accurate grades for all of our A level students and were confident that these were a fair reflection of what the examination results would have been for each individual student.
“Thankfully the situation has been corrected for the vast majority of students who are now looking forward to starting life at their first choice of universities with others progressing onto degree apprentices or jobs.
“This has been a very stressful time for everyone – students and staff alike - and we are now busy enrolling both school leavers and adults in preparation for the start of a new academic year in September.”