The University of Cambridge has launched a new Pre-Graduation Foundation course, which has a lower entry requirement in a bid to increase diversity in the world-renowned educational institution in the UK.
The university announced on Monday that the new Cambridge Foundation Year is free and fully funded and aims to engage a whole new stream of applicants.
The one-year full-time residential course, which begins with its first admission of 52 students for the start of the academic year in October 2022, follows a “rigorous” admissions process.
“It’s a great day for those receiving their Cambridge Foundation Year offer, and a great day for the University,” said Dr Alex Pryce, director of the Foundation Year course at Cambridge.
“This is the first time in its history that Cambridge has run a Pre-Graduate Foundation Year programme, aimed at talented applicants who otherwise might not consider applying to study here, and the number of applications we’ve received shows it’s competitive and there’s a clear appetite for it,” he said.
In total, there were 267 applications for the foundation year pilot program, or about five applications for each place, which is comparable to the number of applications the university normally receives for undergraduate studies at six applications. for each seat.
Each year the course is aimed at approximately 50 individuals who have experienced educational and social disadvantage and who demonstrate the potential to succeed in an arts, humanities or social sciences degree.
“The Cambridge Foundation Year offers a new approach to broadening participation in Cambridge,” said Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.
“This is an innovative program that aims to reach a whole new field of Cambridge candidates and transform lives. After all the planning that went into creating the Cambridge Foundation Year and the hard work of many people across the university and colleges, I am delighted that we have reached this important moment,” he said.
A donation from philanthropists Christina and Peter Dawson funds the launch of the program and full one-year scholarships for all accepted students.
Students will study at one of 13 Cambridge colleges participating in the pilot scheme. The university said that, as with all courses at Cambridge, there is a rigorous admissions process designed to help admit students who will pass in the foundation year and be able to progress to a degree at Cambridge, including interviews and assessment.
Students must also prove their eligibility to receive the “generous scholarship” given to all students on the course.
Upon successful completion of the programme, Cambridge Foundation Year students will receive a CertHE qualification from the University of Cambridge and, with appropriate results, may progress to Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences degrees at Cambridge without having to apply back to college. the usual admission round.
Eligibility criteria for the course cover students with a disrupted educational background in the UK as well as refugees or asylum seekers. The move is part of the university’s efforts to be more inclusive of students from less privileged backgrounds.