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Open Day at Fitzwilliam College
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Fitzwilliam and widening participation

The University of Cambridge will welcome record numbers of students from low participation and deprived neighbourhoods and state schools this academic year, it announced on Monday.

At Fitzwilliam College, we expect to confirm that 73% of home students admitted in 2019 are from state schools and more than two thirds of that figure (69%) are from comprehensive, Further Education or Sixth Form Colleges. More than 30% of home students are from postcodes which indicate deprived or under-represented backgrounds.

Widening participation at Fitzwilliam is viewed simply as a means of admitting the brightest students and is central to our ethos. Access to Cambridge has been our mission since 1869, when Fitzwilliam was founded as a means for those who could otherwise not afford it to study for a Cambridge degree.

On Saturday (14 September), Fitzwilliam is hosting an Access and Widening Participation Conference, to share ideas and debate how we should respond to the ongoing challenges. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and brilliance of our members, past, present and future.

Our panels and audience will be made up of charity representatives, academics and university leaders, teachers, students, alumni and key supporters.

The University of Cambridge story in full: 
University of Cambridge admits record levels of underrepresented and disadvantaged students

The University of Cambridge will welcome record numbers of students from low participation and deprived neighbourhoods and state schools this academic year after continued efforts to widen access to the institution.

One in four students at Cambridge will be from under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds in the 2019/20 intake, while over two-thirds of undergraduates will be from state schools, according to provisional data. 

The success of Cambridge’s UCAS Adjustment scheme pilot this year has contributed to the rise in underrepresented students being admitted.

The University of Cambridge is also developing a range of measures to widen access and help students make the most of their experience including enhanced and extended bursaries for those in financial need and the introduction of a Transition Year programme, the Course Director for which was appointed last week. 

Director of Admissions for the Colleges at the University of Cambridge Dr Sam Lucy said: “We have been exploring different ways to identify talented students who will thrive on our courses and help to make our student population truly representative of the UK population; this has included challenging false perceptions that put off applicants.

“It is deeply encouraging to see that our actions to provide educational opportunity for all those who have the potential to study here are paying off.”

Under future plans for increasing access, the University has pledged to admit one third of its intake from the most underrepresented and disadvantaged groups and to eliminate gaps between various groups in continuation, attainment and progression by 2035. 

Read the the University of Cambridge Access and Participation Plan

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