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College admits its most diverse undergraduate intake ever.

Lucy Cavendish College is committed to widening participation and to providing equality of educational opportunity for all those who study with us.

Having now completed the second application round under our new admissions policy, we are delighted to announce that we have continued to progress towards our goal of becoming broadly representative of society by 2025, and that we have further increased the socioeconomic, ethnic and international diversity of our undergraduate intake.  We have also once again met our goal to admit a majority of students from backgrounds that are either disadvantaged, underrepresented or historically-excluded from Cambridge.  Over 64% of our incoming students this year are from such backgrounds, which builds on the success of our 2021 intake, in which it was true for 60%.

In a significant first for any Cambridge College, over 90% (91.1%) of our UK students will come to us from maintained sector schools.  This is compared to a University average of 72.5% across Cambridge, and an average of 68.3% at Oxford.  Furthermore, where last year over 40% of our UK students came from backgrounds that both universities recognise as being among the ‘least advantaged’ in the country, this year the figure will be over 56%.  This is compared to between 21% and 26% at Oxford and Cambridge in general.

Other headline figures from our UK cohort include:

  • 11% POLAR4 quintile 1 and 26.6% POLAR4 quintiles 1&2 (regions with the lowest rates of progression to HE in the UK)
  • 35.5% IMD quintiles 1 & 2 (regions of greatest socioeconomic disadvantage in the UK)
  • 10% were eligible for Free School Meals at some point during their education
  • At least one in four will be the first in their family to go to University
  • Five students will be admitted on the University’s flagship new Foundation Year Programme in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

In all these metrics, we have once again considerably exceeded both the University-wide average for the forthcoming academic year and the targets that the University has already committed to achieve by 2024/25.  We have also exceeded the benchmarks we set last year during our first intake under our new admissions policy.  We can say with confidence that this year group is nothing less than the most diverse intake ever admitted by any College.

Importantly, the College has achieved this without compromising on our academic standards.  Our incoming students studying STEM subjects have achieved, on average, three A*s at A-level in relevant subjects, whilst incoming arts, humanities and social sciences students have achieved on average 2.5 A*s.

Lucy’s Admissions Director, Dr Mark King, said:

"We are once again delighted to be able to welcome such a diverse cohort of exceptional students to Lucy Cavendish. Our College strives to be a pioneer for change within the Collegiate University and, for the second year running, our admissions figures demonstrate what is possible when a College specifically searches for talented students from underrepresented backgrounds. This year of all years, I am especially proud of our incoming students for what they have achieved. With their education having been so disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and following the return of A-levels examinations this year, our offer-holders were always likely to face significant challenges in their attempt to achieve the grades required by their offers. That they have not only done so, but have exceeded them in so many cases, is testament to their ability, drive and perseverance, as well as to the support they have received from their schools and from our College through our Offer-Holder Mentoring Programme. We are proud to be admitting such incredible young people to the University and we cannot wait to see what they will accomplish once presented with the life-changing opportunities and education Cambridge can offer.’"

All incoming students will now join us one week before the start of term for the College’s complimentary Bridging Programme – a unique initiative designed to help them to make the transition to university.