Wakefield student becomes first in school’s history to secure a place at MIT

Neena Dugar of Wakefield Girls' High.
Neena Dugar of Wakefield Girls' High.
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A YORKSHIRE pupil is making history by becoming the first person from her school to secure a place at the prestigious MIT university in America.

Neena Dugar is one of just 120 overseas students who achieved a placed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this year.

In a letter from MIT the Wakefield Girls’ High School pupil was told she “stood out as one of the most talented and promising students. It added: “We think that you and MIT are a great match”.

The Wakefield student was the top performer at the school achieving five A*s at A-level.

For both Neena and Fiona Preston, the school’s head of year 13, applying to MIT has meant learning about the American university application process.

Mrs Preston said she found it fascinating “how holistic the American approach was” compared to the Ucas system she is used to. She was asked to rank Neena as a percentage of all the students she had ever taught. “It seemed to be as much about the person as the academia,” she added.

The application process required Neena to sit SATs, as they are called in America, in maths and physics. She then had to attend an interview with an alumni of MIT based in England.

This saw her sat in a Starbucks in Finsbury Park, in London, having in an informal chat with a computer programmer, talking about her interests. After this she also had to write five short essays before being successfully offered a place.

On top of her studies at Wakefield Girls’ High she also founded a Coding Club and ran the Junior Debating Club.

She is also head of the sound and light team, a group that helps with school productions throughout the year and she plays the piano.

And despite all these demands on her time she is also interning online for a company in Boston and working on a mobile app with her father to help tackle technical problems in the NHS. Now she is looking forward to a campus tour of MIT which will give her her first taste of life as an international student in America.

A spokeswoman for Wakefield Girls’ High said: “The school is extremely proud of Neena and wishes her the best of luck, wherever she continues her study, she is destined for success.”