About Us

British Consultants

All our consultants have over twenty years of advising experience and/or have held management positions in UK universities.

British Consultants

All our consultants have over twenty years of advising experience and/or have held management positions in UK universities.
We’ve also taught/are teaching in the UK or at international schools: we have first-hand knowledge of the qualifications and likely experiences that the students you will be competing against will have. All clients will have access to subject-specialists and/or Oxford and Cambridge graduate teachers.

Impartial Advice

We are not an agency. We do not receive ‘finders fees’ (commission) paid by certain universities to in-country agents to recruit for them.

Impartial Advice

Let’s make this very clear: WE ARE NOT AN AGENCY.
We do not receive ‘finders fees’ (commission) paid by certain universities to in-country agents to recruit for them. We generally help students enter the best ‘selecting’ universities.
These all have strong international reputations and don’t need to pay companies based in the EU to recruit for them. Not being financially tied to any institution allows us to give the best possible advice on course and university selection.

Personalised Service

It all starts with a 2 hour consultation meeting - we ensure that students are completely aware of all the study options available to them.

Personalised Service

It all starts with a 2 hour consultation meeting – we ensure that students are completely aware of all the study options available to them. After that, we are effectively open ‘non-stop’ until the student flies to the UK. Want to call us in the evening with a burning question?
That’s just fine. You can only meet us at weekends? Not a problem either. The ‘application journey’ can be a long and demanding one, but we take great pride in being there for our clients every step of the way.

International Coverage

Through video conferencing, we can offer our unique support packages globally.

International Coverage

Through video conferencing, we can offer our unique support packages globally. We have recently supported applicants from Romania, the UK, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada and Qatar. We have an office in Bucharest and will shortly be opening a second in Southeast Asia.


All our consultants have over twenty years of advising experience and/or have held management positions in UK universities.

Impartial advice

We are not an agency. We do not receive ‘finders fees’ (commission) paid by certain universities to in-country agents to recruit for them.

Personalised service

It all starts with a 2 hour meeting – we ensure that students are completely aware of all the study options available to them.

International coverage

Through video conferencing, we can offer our unique support packages globally.

Our History

While teaching in state and private high schools back in 2009, Simon identified a need for a totally independent admissions consultancy service:

“Some of my former students who had achieved good grades were on inappropriate courses at unsuitable UK universities. Most changed their course or found an alternative place to study. I knew that with good advice these situations could have been easily avoided.”

Albion International Study was founded a year later; initially focused on helping students enter universities ranked in the UK top 30 including Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, UCL, the London School of Economics, Durham, Warwick and Bath.

“From the very start, we wanted to provide totally independent and unbiased advice to prepare students for entry into universities that are best suited to their individual desires, talents and career aspirations. We represent our clients (students and their parents), not university recruitment teams.”

His unashamedly ‘mature’ team of consultants share his passion for helping young people succeed:

“We only recruit consultants who have substantial school or university teaching experience and a genuine passion for their subject. The way in which they give feedback to our clients during the critical personal statement writing phase actually helps them develop academically as well as helping them to find their own unique voice in producing place-winning applications.”

Simon is convinced that this experience is the secret behind Albion’s success:

“I’ve been helping students with their applications since 1993 and attended countless training sessions on UCAS personal statement and reference writing. We’ve also visited nearly every top 30 university in the UK. Two of our team have even taught in them! You simply can’t acquire this knowledge overnight and we feel it gives our clients a critical advantage in choosing the right course at the right universities and producing the strongest possible application.”

Meet the Team

Simon Parker

Managing Director of Albion International Study, Senior Consultant

BA (Hons) Economics, University of East Anglia,
Post Graduate Certificate of Education, University of York

Simon has been successfully advising students on British university applications for over 30 years.

He was a personal tutor and Business and Economics teacher at John Leggott College in Scunthorpe, UK, between 1991 and 2000, helping students choose their courses and guiding them through the UCAS admissions system.

He relocated to Romania in 2003, initially teaching in state and private schools before becoming a freelance teacher trainer.

Simon conducts the initial interviews with students and their families and then coordinates their support throughout the application cycle. He manages all non- art and music ‘Finding Your Future’ support packages and has the responsibility for ‘signing off’ all our applications.

His other roles include advising on student finance, help with finding accommodation and orientation and team training. Despite the growth of the company, he still helps a small number of clients with their personal statements who are applying for business-related degree subjects.

Gay Crystal

Senior Consultant for Art & Design and Architecture Applications

Diploma in Art and Design Textiles/Fashion, Winchester School of Art,
Post Graduate Certificate of Education, University of Central Lancashire,
Post Graduate Certificate in Educational Management, Lancaster University

Gay began her career as a freelance textile designer before gaining thirty years’ experience teaching Art and Design at Huddersfield University and Runshaw College in Lancashire.

She taught on, and managed, a highly successful Foundation Studies Art and Design course from which students progressed on to degree programmes at leading Arts universities and Architecture faculties in the UK.

She has been part of our team since 2014 and has successfully worked with over thirty students. Her many successes include helping students win places for Fine Art at Oxford, Newcastle and the University of the Arts, Architecture at UCL, Central Saint Martins, Sheffield, Cardiff and Nottingham, Fashion Marketing at the London School of Fashion, Manchester and Leeds, Product Design at Loughborough and Art History at UCL.

Gay advises clients via a combination of Skype meetings and emails, carrying out an initial review of their all-important portfolios and then helping them produce strong and effective personal statements, and is always on hand to offer subject specific guidance for interviews and requests from the Art and Architecture schools for submissions of their artwork.

Dr. Dorothy Elford

Senior Consultant for Foreign Languages Applications
Senior advisor for Oxford and Cambridge Applications

MA in Classics, University of Cambridge,
Postgraduate Certificate in Education, University of London Institute of Education,
PhD in Medieval Philosophy, Cambridge University,
Cambridge CELTA Certificate in teaching English to adults

After a varied teaching career in the UK (Greek, Latin and History, English for speakers of other languages, and Special Needs literacy work), Dorothy relocated to Romania in 1999. Here she has taught English in high schools (for six years), in companies and to individuals, both adults and children.

She also has extensive experience as a translator and proofreader. Within Albion, Dorothy has the enviable reputation of being able to spot a misplaced semicolon from approximately 200 metres. Her eagle eyes scan the personal statements Stuart reviews and she brings her own academic expertise to Classics, Modern Languages, Linguistics and History applications. Dorothy also offers valuable critical ‘second opinions’ on statements written by our clients with the support of other Albion consultants and makes an important contribution to developing our team training materials.

David Shoukry

Consultant for Music, Music Technology and Oxford and Cambridge Applications

BA and MA in Music, University of Oxford,
Post Graduate Certificate in Education, University of Surrey

David has 18 years' experience of teaching Music and Music Technology in independent schools, both in the UK and abroad, having been both a Head of Department and Assistant Head.

In addition to teaching, David is an A Level Music examiner for Cambridge, and examines for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, in London. David has also previously been an A Level examiner for Edexcel Music Technology. He is experienced with coaching Music students to help them enter excellent British universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.

David can also offer tutoring via Skype to help students prepare for the various A Level and Associated Board music exams which are usually required for entry on to British music degree programmes both at universities, specialist music colleges and conservatoires.

Valerie Shoukry

Consultant for Foreign Languages and Oxford and Cambridge Applications

BA and MA in Modern Languages, University of Cambridge,
Post Graduate Certificate in Education, University of Cambridge

Valerie is a very experienced languages teacher who has taught to university entrance level in independent schools, both in the UK and around the world.

In addition to school teaching, she worked for the British Foreign Office in Brussels, teaching language skills to diplomats there.

A British national, Valerie is fluent in both French and Spanish, and is a specialist in French literature, which will be very useful in preparing foreign language clients for Oxford and Cambridge applications.

Richard Smith

Consultant for Economics, Business and Management related Applications

BA (Hons) Economics, Birmingham Polytechnic,
Post Graduate Certificate of Education, Warwick University

Richard has been successfully supporting Stuart and Simon with Economics and Business applications since August 2018. He started his career as a graduate trainee with Abbey National bank PLC within their retail banking division, progressing on to become a branch manager both in London and the West Midlands. He has been a teacher for nine years at a highly academic private school where he is Head of Business at the school as well as being a teacher of Economics. He is also a senior tutor responsible for supporting students through their university applications as well as providing specialist advice for those looking to study any of the multitude of Business and Economics related courses.

Trevor Kingston

Senior Consultant for English, Creative Writing and Media-related Applications

BA English and History, University of Southampton

Trevor is a retired Head of English, who has run highly successful English Departments in both the UK and continental Europe. He is an author of critical analysis of Shakespeare's Macbeth and is an examiner for the AQA examination board. He also contributes papers to Academia.edu, a free to use academic facility to support student learning around the globe. Trevor has an excellent track record of facilitating success in English and English Literature at both IGCSE and A Level and has also supported students studying at university.

Trevor has been working with our clients since 2016, helping students receive interviews at Cambridge and places at Durham (currently ranked #1 in the UK for English Literature), Loughborough, Queen Mary and Leeds.

David Donoghue

Consultant for Biochemistry-related and Healthcare Applications

BA Natural Sciences (Specialising in Biochemistry with Immunology) Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin,
PGCE in Biology with Balanced Sciences from Aberystwyth University

A British and Irish citizen, David is one of our newest team members. He is an experienced biology and chemistry teacher at a private school in the UK, currently teaching Years 6-13. He is Head of Year 7 and has been his school’s Science Outreach Coordinator organising science outreach activities that have had a direct impact on over 8,000 people in the locality. As a Sixth Form tutor and Senior Tutor he shared the responsibility for overseeing all UK university applications at his school and was heavily involved in a successful medical school interview training programme. He is also an examiner for A Level Biology, having examined for English, Welsh and Singaporian exam boards.

Jenny Morris

Consultant for Philosophy and PPE Applications

MA in Classics, University of Cambridge

Jenny has worked with students applying for universities for 35 years, having taught mainly in British independent (private) schools during her school teaching career. She studied both Classics (Latin, Ancient Greek, and Classical Civilisation) and Philosophy at Cambridge, and has taught both these subjects ever since, both at university and secondary school level. Jenny will guide students applying for Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at university, and will work with similar students with ambitions to study this combination of subjects, or Philosophy alone or with another subject. She will also be running Philosophy interview practise sessions for Oxford and applicants.

Isobel Galek

Consultant for Oxford and Cambridge English Applications

BA English Language and Literature, University of Oxford
MPhil in English Studies, University of Cambridge

Isobel has studied English for several years at both Oxford and Cambridge. She started out at Keble College Oxford, following the extensive English Language and Literature BA programme, where she achieved first-class honours in her degree and was awarded two academic scholarships. After working for a year at Pusey House Library in Oxford, she moved to King’s College Cambridge, where she studied for an MPhil in English Studies (eighteenth-century and Romantic), with a focus on eighteenth-century poetry. In 2020 she began her PhD at Gonville and Caius College Cambridge, studying the eighteenth-century poet Thomas Chatterton. Her interests include language (especially the history of the English language, beginning with Old English), literature from Beowulf to the Victorian period, and creative writing.

Dr Bogdan Petrisor

Advisor for Medical School Applications

BA in Neuroscience, University of Cambridge (intercalated) MB, BChir, MA (Hons) University of Cambridge

Dr Petrisor will be offering our medical school applicants a unique insight into the role of a frontline medic, helping them demonstrate to admission tutors that they have thoroughly explored the challenges of their future profession.

Bogdan is an alumnus of Albion international and the second Romanian student to graduate with a medical degree from the University of Cambridge. He is currently a junior doctor in the UK, having completed the doctors' foundation programme. He has worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and has had direct, hands-on experience in general practice, general medicine, general surgery, paediatrics and intensive care. Bogdan was a clinical supervisor for Cambridge medical students while completing his degree, and has continued his involvement in teaching and training others as a junior doctor.

Adam Chappell

Consultant for Physics and Engineering Applications

BSc in Physics and Astrophysics, University of Leicester,
Postgraduate Certificate in Education, University of Leicester

Adam has over 20 years’ teaching experience and was Head of Science for over 10 years at an academically selective independent school in the UK. During that time, he worked as part of the Careers Department and as a Sixth Form Tutor helping students with their university applications. He helped coordinate mock Oxbridge interviews between neighbouring schools and ran outreach courses. Many of his students went on to gain places at top British universities for physics, engineering, medicine, and natural sciences. He currently works as a Physics and Applied Science teacher in a sixth form college and tutors privately.

Arabella McIntyre-Brown

Proof-reader for Personal Statements

Published Author

At Albion, every personal statement is checked by at least two team members. Arabella is ideally suited to this important role as she is an award-winning business editor, and author of an acclaimed history book, ‘Liverpool: The First 1,000 Years’.

She is now lives in a famous Transylvanian village where she writes children’s fiction and works as an editor and proof reader. She has just published a book, A Stake in Transylvania, about her life in the village and often travels to Bucharest to teach creative writing classes to school students and adults.

Caroline Charlton

Proof-reader for References

BA (hons) German with International Studies, University of Warwick
MA European Community Studies, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

According to UCAS, the quality of the English in a reference can be just as important as an applicant’s own use of language. Caroline has been working with Albion since 2012, playing the vital but largely unseen role of proofreading the references for the schools our clients attend.

She has been working in the fields of language teaching, proofreading and translation for over 20 years.

Caroline started her career in 1996 in Greece, where she taught English to primary, secondary and high school students as well as adults at private language schools. In addition to English, she also teaches German. Caroline is also fluent in German, Romanian and Greek, and also has extensive experience in the translation and proofreading of a diverse range of materials, including literature, historical and scientific documents as well as poetry.