About Us


Aliza Samorly-Thompson

Myrtle Founder and Director

Aliza is a political psychologist, an educator and an artist. She is the founder and a director of Oxford Myrtle Education which specialises in the advanced academic development of university students, career professionals and students in their final years of school. 

Aliza has spent her career working in international education, academic counsellor, lecturing undergraduate, and postgraduate students at Haifa University, and subsequently in Oxford. 

Aliza completed with distinction both undergraduate and postgraduate studies (Psychology and Political Science) at the University of Haifa, before undertaking doctoral study at the University of Oxford, and further postgraduate study at City University in London (International Journalism).

Contact Aliza at (+44) 07967 441748 / aliza@oxfordmyrtle.co.uk

Andy Thompson

Myrtle Director

Andy has spent his career in independent education and was principal of one of the leading tutorial colleges in Oxford for many years. He is also a consultant to the Independent Schools Association where he has led professional development for schools on entry to Oxbridge. Andy has written extensively on schools and university education in the UK press and has spoken about successful university application at both national and international events, including the British Council’s Moscow show. 

Andy read English Literature at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and, as a guest speaker on the University of Oxford’s outreach programme, has lectured on a wide range of topics in literature.

Contact Andy at (+44) 07967 447790 / andy@oxfordmyrtle.co.uk

The Myrtle Vision

‘We didn’t know you were here.’

As principals, my colleagues and I hear this about our small and less well-known colleges from so many grateful parents each year. Parents are delighted to encounter our approach – so different from that of mainstream schools – and praise us not only for top grades achieved and their child on a pathway to a golden future, but because of our approach – thoughtful, collaborative, kind, original – different to school – showing students the way to effective performance at a first class university then onwards to a valuable and fulfilling career. 

Andy Thompson
(Chair of Academic Affairs, Council for Independent Further Education)
Article in the Daily Telegraph, 2002.
Life has taught me that the need to understand and be understood is the bedrock of human existence and experience; a universal ever-present deep-seated need. In the current global interdependent world, how we communicate successfully with one another becomes the only issue, both on a personal and on wider socio-political dimensions. 

Information can be taught and memorised, but is often not fully understood or assimilated. Students recognise what a true learning experience is when they encounter it – the instinct to understand cannot be suppressed, and understanding, by definition, needs to both emanate from, and transcend, any topic under study. 

No matter what life throws at you, there is an essence no-one can take away, that is the ability, freedom and duty to think. When we think, we come to comprehend. While feelings come and go, our deepest, most valuable perceptions are anchored in our thoughts. Feelings without a cognitive structure to underpin them are a threat to our existence, just as much as thinking without ethical commitment is. 

These skills of true understanding can be develop and acquired, and here at Oxford Myrtle, there are a few channels for students to learn and practice this method, no matter what subject they are studying. In doing so, you have learnt the true universal language of the world: I call it the language of analysis. 

Aliza Samorly-Thompson
(Founder, Oxford Myrtle)