Helping students make successful applications to international universities


The University Guys are here to support students in exploring, preparing for and applying to universities all over the world.

As independent university specialists, some people think of us as a ‘top up’ service that goes beyond what your current school might offer and enables you to access world class universities in other countries.

Our team provides one-to-one tutoring and guidance to students and their families, helping them to get a place at the top university of their choice, and making the process of applications clear, manageable and successful.


Our Team


David Hawkins, Founder

One of the world’s top independent college counsellors, David Hawkins MA (Oxford), PGCE specialises in supporting families and students to enter some of the world’s best-ranked universities and, most importantly, helping students to work out which institutions are the best match for them.

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David is one of 19 people in the world to hold the gold-standard international affiliation with the Council of International Schools. An Oxford graduate, prior to The University Guy, David was the Head of College Counseling at the International School of Brussels (one of the largest in Europe), and before that was the Head of Careers and a History teacher at Taunton School. David holds memberships in the International Association for College Admissions Counseling, the Independent Educational Consultants Association and the Council of British International Schools.

Sheena Mehta, Director

As a former director at IE University, having worked on campus in Madrid and led the international office in London, Sheena has recruited students and organised events across three continents. At The University Guys, Sheena leads relationship work with international universities.

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Fluent in Spanish and Gujarati and having served on the Council of International Schools’ Committee for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Sheena has powerful connections with institutions on four continents. A former senior leader in the India-based IC3 movement, she has deep connections to the sub-continent. Having been able to combine both of her favourite subjects, Spanish and Business, at university, her degree facilitated her to go on to live and work in Spain. With over 15 years of experience in higher education, Sheena is passionate about helping students find their perfect fit, having been lucky enough to have found hers.

Melanie Moorhouse, Senior Consultant

Formerly the Head of Careers and Higher Education at Top UK and International School St. Clare’s, Oxford, Melanie has supported students studying IB, A-Level, BTEC, Art Foundation and University Foundation programs and worked with students from over 50 different nationalities with a wide range of pre-16 curriculums, giving her a secure understanding of how these qualifications work, how they develop students and how they are viewed by universities.

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She is experienced in supporting students to explore and apply to universities in the UK, USA, Canada, Europe and Asia for a very wide range of degree subjects. Melanie holds membership in the International Association for College Counselling, has sat on advisory boards for a wide range of organisations in the higher education field including Information and advice platforms, EdTech and universities, and has spoken at multiple conferences for counsellors and universities to share her expertise.

Holly Smith, Educational Consultant

A former senior international officer at a range of UK universities, Holly has worked for over a decade in international education.

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A well-regarded member of organisations such as the International Association for College Admission Counseling, the Higher Education Liaison Officers Association, and the British Universities’ International Liaison Association, Holly has deep connections across the UK university sector. Widely travelled, Holly has advised students on university applications from across the world.

Tom Whittaker, Educational Consultant
Tom’s international education experience spans three countries. Educated in the UK, Tom has worked for two different UK universities as well as the British Council.

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For his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, Tom attended university in the United States where he was a recruited athlete, representing his university at both football and athletics. More recently, Tom was the UK and Ireland representative for the University of British Columbia, building relationships with students, families and schools across the British Isles and Continental Europe

Richard Judd, Associate
A former Head of University Guidance at a top UK school, Richard has supported students with applications to universities across the UK, USA and Europe. Richard has taught on A level, IBDP and BTEC programmes and so not only understands their distinctive learning paths but also how universities make offers to students from these different programmes.

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Having also worked in UK comprehensive and grammar schools, Richard has wide experience of advising students taking both traditional academic pathways and those taking more vocational or creative industry ones. Since different students fit different learning environments he is able to find the best-fit route. Previous work as an assistant registrar in a UK Higher Education institution means that he has experienced the student admission process from both student and institution viewpoints. With his own two daughters now studying at UK universities, and as a British Council certified adviser, Richard has also experienced what it is like to be a parent navigating the application process and settling their sons and daughters into university life.

Emma Reddy, Application Essay Specialist

Emma Reddy MA (Cambridge), PhD (Leicester) graduated from Cambridge with a First class degree in English Literature. She worked as a Corporate lawyer in London for several years before completing a Masters with Distinction in Modern Literature.

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While studying for her PhD in American Literature she taught undergraduates and postgraduates at the University of Leicester. She achieved a Distinction in her PGCE from the University of Buckingham and now teaches GCSE, IB and A Level. She has supervised dissertations and helped countless pupils hone their writing skills.

Brandy Fransen, Associate

Brandy Fransen has worked in international higher education and admissions for over sixteen years. She was raised a third-culture kid in Latin America before moving to the United States to attend art school. Brandy has a B.F.A in Graphic Design and worked as a designer before changing careers to international admission.

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She attended, and later worked at, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) as their Director of International Admission. During her twelve years at SCAD she led workshops and conducted tutorials titled “How to Prepare a Dynamic Portfolio.” She has conducted hundreds of interviews with students applying to art schools and reviewed hundreds of portfolios. She later moved to Washington D.C., where she worked as Director of Operations at Linden Educational Services, leading educational tours in China and India. In 2015, the sweet song of the South called her back to be near her family, and she began working at beautiful Rollins College in Winter Park, FL, as their Senior Associate Director of International Admission. She also counsels students privately from all over the world on how to best prepare their portfolios for art schools.

Dr Matthew Yeo, Associate

Matthew Yeo was born in Dublin, grew up in Birmingham, and took his undergraduate degree in Modern History at St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford and Princeton University.

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He followed up with an MA and PhD at the University of Manchester in the History of the Book, where he was awarded the university’s highest honour, the Distinguished Achievement Award. He has taught at four HMC schools and is passionate about British and international university admissions. He has advised hundreds of candidates through their application process; his priority is always what is right for that individual student’s holistic education and progression.

Memberships & Accreditations

Founder David Hawkins is a trusted and well-known member of the international university admissions community with connections at universities around the world. David (and other members of the team as appropriate) hold memberships of these organisations.
To read more about our ownership structure and impartiality statement, please click here.
IACAC facilitates global interaction among counselors and institutions in support of secondary students transitioning to higher education while promoting professional standards that foster ethical and social responsibility.
COBIS aims to advance the interests of British schools overseas and support the commercial organisations that export education resources, products and services.
CIS works collaboratively to shape international education through professional services to schools, higher education institutions, and individuals.
HMC (The Heads’ Conference) is a thriving, proactive association of heads at some of the world’s leading independent schools. The name of the association derives from its annual meeting at Conference, which is a condition of membership.

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+44 (0) 7392 846307

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