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 counselors, 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, the Higher Educational Consultants Association and the Council of British International Schools.

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.

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.

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.

Mark Weston, Associate – Europe, USA & Canada

A former Head of Higher Education Guidance at a top international school in China, Mark is experienced in working with students on multi-country applications to destinations including the USA, Canada, Australasia and the most popular Asian locations.

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A graduate of the University of Oxford and a qualified teacher, Mark is well-versed in supporting students with university applications to destinations worldwide. In recent years, Mark's students have been admitted to universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, UCL, Hong Kong University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, NYU, Seoul National University, KAIST, the University of Toronto, UBC, Middlebury College, Georgia Institute of Technology, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design, and Central Saint Martins.

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.
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.

Drop us a note and we’ll get back to you, or use the details below to get in touch

+44 (0) 7392 846307

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