A wealthy foreign student at Cambridge University is offering a private tutor £48,000 (about Rs 48 lakh) for just 16 weeks of work. The job comes with all-expenses-paid trips to Zurich. The tutor can also move into the 20-year-old student’s home in Switzerland if he or she wishes.
The Swiss student needs help in preparing for two of his first-year exams in natural sciences: cell biology and chemistry. He was recently diagnosed with dyspraxia (a neurological disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), both of which have had a negative impact on his exam preparation.
The student failed his first year and must now pass resits to carry on studying at the university. In desperation, he has advertised for a tutor. The first choice: someone who is a former Cambridge graduate.
“The tutor is required to work for a minimum of six hours a day, five days a week for sixteen weeks from early January through spring/summer exam period,” says the online ad taken out by the student. “In addition to the academic work, it would be helpful if the tutor shared some of the student’s interests. This is a demanding role, and it is anticipated that he and the tutor would both benefit from the opportunity to unwind through a sport such as rowing or regular trips to the gym, cultural excursions are encouraged.”
Some other requirements have also been listed. “As an international student at a college in the far south of the city, the student doesn’t feel as integrated into Cambridge life as he could be, and it would be appreciated if the tutor could help to alleviate this added social pressure by helping him to embrace the opportunities that Cambridge affords, the student traditions and culture, and by generally helping him to experience all that the city has to offer,” the ad says.
“There may be the occasional week spent studying in Zurich, in which case the client will be responsible for the tutor’s full expenses. The tutor should be a non-smoker, lead a physically active lifestyle and be healthy and fit. He or she should be engaging, have a good sense of humour and a sunny disposition. Naturally, he or she is expected to be an excellent tutor and at the same time an inspiring mentor for the positive as well as progressive development of the student’s career in Cambridge.”
The student goes on to explain his condition. “The young man is a very intelligent Swiss student who is fluent in six languages,” says the ad. “However, now he is at Cambridge, his coping techniques are proving unsatisfactory, and his previously minor issues have become big obstacles that are now impeding his academic progress. He is retaking two of these four exams this spring or summer and has been told that he may rejoin the course if he attains a minimum of 50% in each of these two exams.”
The student’s newly diagnosed learning difficulties mean he has issues in several key areas: time management and organisational skills, memory skills, exam techniques, reading strategies, structuring revision summaries and essay-writing, proofreading, and managing his attention and focus.