It is now the College’s official policy to conduct admissions interviews online indefinitely, meaning that there will be no return to in-person interviewing.
During the academic year 2020-21, in a change initially brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the University of Cambridge moved to an online method of interviewing applicants for undergraduate courses. Since that time, Colleges across the University have consulted widely on the benefits of both in-person and online methods, taking into account a wide range of views, including those of teachers and students, with a view to determining a format for future years. The decision on which interview format to use rests with the Colleges, and at Lucy Cavendish we have now decided to remain entirely online for the foreseeable future.
Online interviews at Lucy Cavendish have proceeded incredibly smoothly over the last three years, and we are grateful to schools and candidates for their positive feedback on their interview experience; this has encouraged us to continue to use the format. The College has also worked hard to ensure that candidates are well supported as they get ready for interviews, with our extensive preparation including tech support and interactive pre-interview webinars, and we are confident that we can sustain this support for future applicants. More generally, the shift to online interviewing has offered a number of benefits that we feel align with our broader missions to widen access to Cambridge and to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. Our decision was based above all on a desire to remove the disruption and cost, both financial and environmental, caused by the necessity of travel to Cambridge, and, in response to applicant feedback, to allow candidates to be available for interview in a familiar setting in which they will feel comfortable. However, we recognise that there are downsides to our decision, too, such as removing an opportunity for applicants to visit the College, and we will look to remedy these for future offer-holders through events held later in the admissions cycle. We also appreciate that hosting candidates for remote interview in schools or colleges can be a challenge for these institutions and we are committed to doing everything we can to work with them to minimise any such difficulties. We remain exceptionally grateful to all those involved in supporting applicants throughout the process.
All applicants to the University of Cambridge should be reassured that a College's choice of interview format has no impact on a candidate's likely chance of a successful outcome. Both formats lead to the same fair assessment of a candidate’s ability and potential for the course that they are applying to, and everyone involved in assessing applicants to the University is now adept at using both forms of interview.
Whatever decision a College has taken, applicants should know that it is based upon a great deal of thought and discussion with those affected. At Lucy Cavendish, we are confident in the change we have chosen to undertake, but we also recognise and respect that others may have opted for a different format. If you, or a student you are supporting, have any questions about our interview process, then do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.