Cambridge Foundation Year offers new route to undergraduate study for disadvantaged students


14-01-2021
students arrive in Cambridge

A Foundation Year offering talented students from backgrounds of educational and social disadvantage a new route to undergraduate study has been launched by the University of Cambridge.

"The launch of the Cambridge Foundation Year will open up Cambridge to a new field of candidates... Students will be drawn from a range of backgrounds, the common link being that their circumstances have prevented them from realising their academic potential." - Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor

The one-year course – aimed at an entirely new stream of applicants who have the ability to succeed at Cambridge, but have been prevented from reaching their full potential by their circumstances – will prepare students for further learning and offer them the chance to progress straight to an undergraduate degree at Cambridge. Its launch - amid the COVID-19 pandemic - comes at a time when the University’s work to forge new pathways into higher education for those groups already facing exceptional disadvantage has never been more pressing.

The Foundation Year is free to students; a cornerstone £5 million gift from philanthropists Christina and Peter Dawson will fund the launch of the programme and full one-year scholarships for all students who are accepted. 

Those who have been in care, those estranged from their families, and those who have missed significant periods of learning because of health issues are among the groups the Foundation Year aims to reach – students whose education has been disrupted and are therefore unlikely otherwise to be able to make a competitive application to undergraduate study at Cambridge through the University’s standard admissions process. Other possible candidates include students who have been unable to access suitable qualifications, those from low income backgrounds, and those from schools which send few students to university. 

Up to 50 Foundation Year students will arrive in Cambridge in the programme’s first intake in October 2022, after applying directly through UCAS by the January 2022 deadline, and undergoing interviews and assessments to identify their aptitude. Typical offers will require 120 UCAS Tariff Points, which is equivalent to BBB at A-Level. The usual Cambridge offer is at least A*AA.

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Reproduced courtesy of the University of Cambridge

 

The University of Cambridge is acknowledged as one of the world's leading higher education and research institutions. The University was instrumental in the formation of the Cambridge Network and its Vice- Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, is also the President of the Cambridge Network.

University of Cambridge (cam.ac.uk)