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Many exceptionally talented individuals are still not applying to Cambridge, believing wrongly that ‘it could never be for the likes of me’.

They are often from under-represented groups and low-income backgrounds in the UK and overseas.

This has to change.

Recognising that we must not ignore this exceptional talent, Lucy Cavendish is embracing a bold, new vision. The College has made a commitment, through changes in its admissions policies, to become broadly representative of society by the middle of the decade.

Building on Firm Foundations

Increasing diversity at Cambridge is deep in our DNA. From the very start in 1965, Lucy Cavendish College successfully responded to the needs of a marginalised and under-represented group at Cambridge: mature-age women. But the time has now come for us to build on our achievements, using our expertise, experience and commitment to benefit new, contemporary groups of exceptional students from under-represented backgrounds.

Our goal

To be the leading college at Cambridge that is truly representative of British and international societies; and, urgently, to eliminate the gaps in academic and employment outcomes between students from less- and more-privileged backgrounds.

Our approach

Philanthropy at all levels from inspired and generous individuals, families and organisations will play a critical role in our new future. We hope you will take part.

  • Gifts of any size would support our fund for enrichment of the student experience. Students can apply for grants to participate in language classes, professional workshops, short career-and enterprise-related courses, boot-camps, fieldwork, time in research labs, unpaid volunteering and conference attendance.
  • A gift of £25 per month helps us to ensure our Library’s shelves remain full, ensuring no student is disadvantaged in their studies because they cannot afford the necessary course textbooks.
  • 10 gifts of £110 cover the salary costs of a Research Programme Student Co-researcher for one year, who will investigate and help improve the lived experience of non-traditional students at the College.
  • 10 gifts of £2,600 cover the salary of a Research Programme Coordinator for one year, ensuring we can identify the issues faced by those from under-represented backgrounds. We will find and implement solutions, ensuring that the playing field is levelled for all.
  • A gift of £12,000 would fund a residential summer school for students from widening participation backgrounds
  • A gift of £150,000 would fund two annual Bridging Courses – one for all incoming undergraduate students and the other for all incoming postgraduate students – every year for five years. These courses will ensure that students are fully prepared from the first day of their first term to get the most out of the academic, personal and career development opportunities that Cambridge offers.
  • A gift of £450,000 would endow an annual bursary in perpetuity for three undergraduate students from low socio-economic backgrounds for the duration of their three years of study.
  • A gift of £1m would endow our special programmes to help students secure outstanding academic results and to maximise their future career opportunities.
  • A gift of £3m would endow a special ‘opportunity fund’ to eliminate the barrier of additional costs that students from the lowest- income backgrounds face in studying at Cambridge and enable their participation in extra-curricular activities to enrich their student experience.
  • A gift of £8m would build the state-of-the-art multi-media conference and convening hub as well as work spaces designed specifically for an inclusive, diverse community of learners where inter-disciplinarity can flourish and life-long professional networks are formed.

For more information, please contact the Development Office.


Read more about our mission:

Tackling global issues

The impact of giving

See what a difference gifts have made