The generous gift from the Foundation will support ‘least advantaged’ students with great academic potential
In January 2021, the College enrolled 29 offer-holders on a programme of mentoring and academic tuition, run in partnership with the educational charity Causeway Education. The recent pandemic has increased issues related to educational inequality in the UK and further widened the attainment gap between students from the most and least privileged backgrounds. The College’s mentoring programme aims to tackle these problems, providing personal and academic support to talented offer-holders from underrepresented backgrounds so that they can stand the best chance of achieving the conditions of their offer and prepare themselves for the transition to university.
Of the 29 students selected for the programme, 25 of the participants came from backgrounds that are classified as among the ‘least advantaged’ by Oxford and Cambridge. All had demonstrated great academic potential during their application and the College was eager to ensure that their chance of being admitted to Cambridge would not be affected by the disruption their education had experienced over the last eighteen months.
Following the successful pilot, and with the generosity of The Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation, the College is now able to extend the programme to as many seriously disadvantaged students as it can over the next three years to help counter the ongoing learning deficit caused by Covid, ensuring that a generation of exceptional students are not denied the higher education opportunities they deserve.
The Foundation, established by the late Ernest Hecht OBE, has already been helping to transform the lives of countless Lucy students for many years. Ernest Hecht’s generous bequest, made in 2020, is keeping his memory alive by enabling the College to support two outstanding students each year in his name. The students that the Foundation supports will not only have a chance fully to demonstrate, explore and develop their intellectual abilities, but will do so with the support of the Lucy Cavendish College community – an environment that truly understands the needs of students from non-traditional backgrounds.