The Cambridge Foundation Year will provide students a multi-disciplinary curriculum in arts, humanities and social sciences, and offer them a chance to pursue an undergraduate degree at the varsity
The University of Cambridge has introduced a new one-year free course titled ‘Cambridge Foundation Year’ for talented students from educationally and socially disadvantaged backgrounds.
Today we launch the Cambridge #FoundationYear – a new route for talented students from backgrounds of educational and social disadvantage to undergraduate study at #Cambridge: https://t.co/LDRyDtGpdH#GoingToCambridge— Cambridge University (@Cambridge_Uni) January 13, 2021
The course will prepare students for further learning and offer them the chance to progress straight to an undergraduate degree at Cambridge. It specifically aims to reach students who would have otherwise been unlikely to make a competitive application to its undergraduate programme due to issues like being in care, estrangement from family, missing significant periods of learning due to health issues, unsuitable qualifications and low income background.
Up to 50 foundation year students will arrive at the varsity as part of the programme’s first intake in October 2022, after applying directly through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) by the January 2022 deadline, and undergoing interviews and assessments to identify their aptitude.
Students will study an engaging and challenging multi-disciplinary curriculum in arts, humanities and social sciences at one of the 13 Cambridge colleges participating in the pilot scheme, preparing them for further study in these subjects. Upon completion of the programme, students will receive a recognised CertHE qualification from the university, and with suitable attainment, they can progress to the designated degrees without having to apply again. The students who do not wish to continue their undergraduate study at Cambridge or do not meet the required level of attainment will be supported in finding alternate institutions.
It will be free for all students, a cornerstone £5 million gift from philanthropists Christina and Peter Dawson, who will fund the launch of the programme and full scholarships for all students who are accepted. Christina Dawson said, “I was absolutely delighted when I first heard that Cambridge was launching a Foundation Year, and am so pleased that it has not been held back by global events. Indeed, the need for this Foundation Year has become ever clearer as the pandemic has exacerbated inequities and disadvantages. Peter and I are firmly committed to doing whatever we can to support Cambridge in addressing educational disadvantage in wider society, and are thrilled to have enabled the launch of such a ground-breaking and impactful programme.”
Prof. Stephen Toope, vice chancellor, University of Cambridge said, “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.”
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