Record number of applications to Cambridge in 2013 cycle

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Applications to the University of Cambridge rose again in the 2013 cycle to an all-time high of 16,185, according to undergraduate admissions statistics published today.

We are a highly selective institution and inevitably not every application will be successful. However we can assure every applicant – and their schools, advisers and parents - that they have been assessed holistically as an individual, and they have been assessed on academic factors alone.

Dr Mike Sewell, Director of Admissions for the Cambridge Colleges.

The biggest increase was seen in UK applications: 10,198 applications were received from UK students, an increase of 3.7 per cent on 2012.

The proportion of successful applicants from under-represented groups, including students from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and students living in areas where low numbers go on to higher education, remained similar to last year.

The proportion of successful applicants educated in the state sector fell slightly to 61.4 per cent. The collegiate University’s target, agreed with OFFA, is to admit between 61 and 63 per cent of its students from the state sector by 2015-16.

The University attributes its continued success in attracting applicants to its wide-ranging and innovative outreach work, carried out across the UK, and its commitment to transparent admissions decisions based on academic track record.

  • The University offers one of the biggest residential Easter and Summer School programmes in the UK. 1,200 places were offered in 2013, up from around 450 in 2009, giving more potential applicants the chance to experience collegiate Cambridge for themselves.

  • HE+, the University’s unique collaborative project delivered in partnership with groups of state schools and colleges across the UK, has now worked with 5000 participants since its launch in the 2009-10 academic year.  Almost 40% of HE+ participants who have applied to Cambridge over the past three years have been made offers.

  • The Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences, nine large-scale conferences held in seven UK cities, reach around 8,000 students and teachers each year. More than 73 per cent of these are from the state sector. Around 15 per cent of student attendees go on to apply to Cambridge.

  • The AS provides an up-to-date, objective and transparent record of academic progress at the point of application. The University argues that its use in the Cambridge admissions process has allowed it simultaneously to raise standards and widen participation without engaging in positive discrimination.

Dr Mike Sewell, Director of Admissions for the Cambridge Colleges, said:

“We have been delighted to see another increase in the number of talented and ambitious students applying to, and competing for a place, at Cambridge.

“We are a highly selective institution and inevitably not every application will be successful.  However we can assure every applicant – and their schools, advisers and parents - that they have been assessed holistically as an individual, and they have been assessed on academic factors alone.

“We remain within our target range for state school admissions. Year-on-year variations were anticipated and we are still above the position of 2011.

“Such fluctuations also demonstrate that we prioritise fairness in our admissions decisions over meeting targets. We do not operate a quota system at Cambridge. Every successful applicant has won their place on merit in an open and fair contest.”


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