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Lucy Cavendish College was founded in 1965 as a Collegiate Society. Initially a graduate Foundation, it admitted its first undergraduates in 1972.

Early Fellows

It became an Approved Foundation of the University of Cambridge in 1984 and then in 1997 it was incorporated by Royal Charter, achieving full status as a College. The College is an autonomous, self-governing community of scholars and one of the 31 colleges within the University of Cambridge. The College is a registered charity (number 1137875) regulated by the Charity Commission and its registered office is Lucy Cavendish College, Lady Margaret Road, Cambridge CB3 0BU.

The College provides, with the University, an education of the highest quality through small group teaching, academic supervision, library, computing and cultural facilities, meals and living accommodation and appropriate support for students in personal or financial need.  Every student has a personal Tutor.

Plans for the future

In March 2019 the Governing Body reviewed its long-term strategy and decided to embark upon a programme of transformation.  The College’s new admissions policy builds on its 50 year history, remaining true to its founding principle to make the best of Cambridge’s education and research available to non-traditional and under-represented students and Fellows, and to its ethos of inclusion. 

Originally an institution founded for mature women and which transformed their life chances and gave them professional careers, the College has now decided to open those opportunities to new groups of under-represented students of all ages (generally 18+) and genders, and to welcome and support particularly those who have a passion and commitment to address the global challenges that characterise our societies in the 21st Century. Male Fellows and postdocs have already been admitted and the College will welcome men and women from the age of 18 years in September 2021 (applications for 2021 entries open September 2020). 

Detailed planning for this next phase of the College’s history is under way in partnership with the University of Cambridge and our donors and benefactors. In implementing these plans, the College will secure its future through growth in student numbers (requiring significant development of the College’s estate), an increased endowment, and a permanently funded core of positions and programmes that will enable us to deliver our vision in a compelling way for decades to come. 

Our traditions

Tradition and innovation