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Lucy becomes first Cambridge College to admit a majority of students from underrepresented backgrounds

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

Having just completed the first application round under our new admissions policy, we are delighted to announce that we expect to have one of the most socioeconomically and ethnically diverse intakes of any Cambridge College. This provides a solid foundation for our future admissions as we look to become broadly representative of UK society by 2025. 

For the academic year 2021/22 we will be admitting 130 new undergraduate students, of whom 60% come from backgrounds that are either disadvantaged or underrepresented at Cambridge. 

Over 82% of our UK students will come from maintained sector schools, whilst over 40% will come from the least advantaged backgrounds, compared to over a quarter across Cambridge in general, and over 20% at Oxford.  Other headline figures from our UK cohort include:

  • 22.8% from POLAR4 quintiles 1 & 2 (regions with the lowest rates of progression to HE in the UK)

  • 28.2% from IMD quintiles 1 & 2 (regions of greatest socioeconomic disadvantage in the UK)

  • 9.8% 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 

In all these metrics, we have considerably exceeded both the University-wide average for the forthcoming year and the targets that the University has committed to achieve by 2024/25. Preparations are already well underway for the 2022 admissions round, when we hope to build further upon this success. 

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

"We are delighted to welcome such a diverse cohort of exceptional students to Lucy Cavendish.  Far from compromising on academic standards in order to achieve our admissions goals, the College has sought to identify applicants with the greatest potential from the widest possible range of backgrounds.  Under the most challenging of circumstances, over 73% of our incoming A-level offer-holders achieved at least three A*s in their recent results.  Our students have more than earned their place at Cambridge and we are very much looking forward to welcoming them to our College next month."

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.

Header photo: graduates at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge.