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Raising Aspirations: Our commitment to outreach


Contents

1 Our commitment to outreach 2 Easter and summer schools 3 Experience Cambridge 4 The Subject Matters and Subject Masterclasses 5 Challenge Days 6 Black, Asian and minority ethnicity outreach 7 Further education and mature student outreach 8 Children in care and care leavers 9 HE Partnership 10 HE+ 11 Departmental outreach 13 College Area Links Scheme 16 CUSU Shadowing Scheme 17 Open days 18 Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences 19 Higher education conventions 20 Publications 21 Digital and new media Back cover Calendar of events


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Our commitment to outreach The University of Cambridge has a long history of engaging in outreach; we have offered summer schools to disadvantaged students in conjunction with the Sutton Trust since 1998, and our work with black, Asian and minority ethnicity (BAME) students began some ten years before that.

Significant changes in recent years have fundamentally affected access to higher education (HE); initiatives such as Aimhigher have ended, student funding arrangements have altered, and demographics are changing. However, one constant in this ever changing landscape is our commitment to widening participation and our efforts to deliver high quality information to students. Our work in this area – which we have collectively described in this publication as ‘outreach’ – is enormously diverse. In 2011-12, in addition to the £6.4 million distributed to students from low income households through the Cambridge Bursary Scheme, the University, Colleges and Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) spent £2.5 million delivering outreach initiatives. Through these initiatives, we were able to engage with approximately 145,000 students and 14,500 teachers through almost 3,000 events and interactions.1

approximately 32 per cent of additional fee income on such measures by 2016-17. We are immensely grateful to all those – donors, third party organisations, the Colleges and departments, CUSU, the Cambridge Admissions Office, and our student helpers – whose involvement and contributions make this work both possible and successful, and greatly value the partnerships that have developed in the process. What follows here is a taste of some of the initiatives currently on offer.

Jon Beard Director of Undergraduate Recruitment jon.beard@admin.cam.ac.uk

In 2011 we reasserted our commitment to outreach when renewing our Access Agreement with the Office for Fair Access (OFFA)2 by committing to spend

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Please note that participation in our outreach initiatives does not influence whether the Cambridge Colleges invite applicants for interview or offer them places. 2 www.offa.org.uk


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Easter and summer schools

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One of the largest residential events programmes in the UK – approximately 1,100 places available across 11 events. Typically, 40-50 per cent of Sutton Trust Summer School participants go on to apply to Cambridge; for 2012 entry, nearly one in three of those were made offers.

Research conducted for the Sutton Trust shows that students attending summer schools are considerably more likely to apply to and take up places at one of the participating universities compared to students who applied for but did not attend a summer school.1 This is reflected by our own data. In 2012-13, we increased the number of places available on our residential events by 15 per cent and around 4,000 applications were received for the 1,100 places. Residential events offered included an Easter school for students from Teach First schools; subject-specific Sutton Trust Summer Schools and a STEP Prep Summer School (for students intending to apply for Mathematics); and groupspecific summer schools for students at further education (FE) colleges, mature students and students from disadvantaged schools in black, Asian and minority ethnicity (BAME) communities.

have no family history of progression to higher education; who attend a school/college with a point score at A Level that is below the national average; who attend a school with a high proportion of students in receipt of free school meals; who live in an area of low progression to higher education; who have spent time in care; and/or who will be applying as a mature student. Students who are unsuccessful in gaining a place on a summer school may be invited to take part in our other initiatives, for example 500 unsuccessful applicants for the Sutton Trust Summer Schools were offered places on other Cambridge Admissions Office events such as Experience Cambridge (see opposite) and Subject Masterclasses (see p4).

Further information www.cam.ac.uk/outreachevents/

Priority for such events is given to academically able students who

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The Impact of the Sutton Trust’s Summer Schools on Subsequent Higher Education Participation: A Report to the Sutton Trust (2011) Hoare and Mann.


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Experience Cambridge

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Alternative programme offered to selected applicants who are unsuccessful in gaining a place on a Sutton Trust Summer School. More than 360 students engaged in this three-week subject-based project in 2013.

The Sutton Trust Summer Schools at Cambridge are greatly oversubscribed, and we are unable to offer places to every competitive applicant. Consequently, in July 2013 we invited some of the most academically strong of those who did not secure a summer school place to take part in the Experience Cambridge initiative. Over a three week period, Experience Cambridge participants are set a task or series of problems relating to a specific topic not covered within their Year 12 studies. A moderated online forum system provides means for them to share ideas, ask questions and debate the topic with other participants and current Cambridge students. The project culminates in a one-day event held at one of the Cambridge Colleges, which includes lecture sessions based around the pre-event task, structured group seminars and an admissions question and answer session.

The 2013 programme encompassed a range of arts and science subjects – Biological Sciences, Engineering, English, History, Law, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics and Veterinary Medicine – and more than 360 students took part (an increase of 64.3 per cent on the previous year). Feedback received has been very positive and following the pilot of the initiative in 2012, 85 participants (18.0 per cent) applied to the University and, of those, 33 were made offers (38.8 per cent).


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The Subject Matters and Subject Masterclasses

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The Subject Matters events provide guidance for Year 11 students on A Level subject choice. Subject Masterclasses offer Year 12 students subject enrichment and a taste of undergraduate teaching. 5,200 students attended one of these events in 2012-13. A third of 2012 Masterclass attendees applied to the University.

The Subject Matters Making the right subject choices for A Levels (or equivalent) is a fundamental step towards making a successful application to a highly selective university. The Subject Matters events offer advice and guidance to Year 11 students to help inform such decisions.

In response to the success of and demand for these events, the initiative will be expanded again in 2013-14. This will include delivering two sessions in the North of England, and offering to run more events in schools in London and the East of England.

Subject Masterclasses In 2012-13, we expanded the initiative and offered seven Subject Matters events (six were offered in 2011-12) – four events took place in Cambridge and three in schools in London and the East of England. A total of 2,091 participants attended (an increase of 16.2 per cent on 2011-12), 39.6 per cent of whom were in receipt of free school meals (FSM), or came from schools with an above average proportion of students receiving FSM and/or below average proportion achieving five A*-C at GCSE.

Many students do not know what to expect from teaching at highly selective universities, and have had little exposure to ideas beyond their A Level syllabus. The Subject Masterclasses provide Year 12 students with the opportunity to explore a subject of interest in greater depth and experience undergraduate teaching at Cambridge. In 2013, 15 Masterclasses were offered in 21 subjects including Mathematics, Genetics, Engineering, Languages, Medicine, History, Music, Politics, Geography and Psychology. Almost 3,700 students attended (a 16.5 per cent increase on the previous year), with almost all Masterclasses oversubscribed. Of the students who attended in 2012, 32.0 per cent went on to apply to the University and 45.3 per cent of those applicants were made an offer of a place.

Further information www.cam.ac.uk/outreachevents/


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Challenge Days

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A series of one-day HE taster events offering academic challenge to bright students in Year 10 from disadvantaged schools. In 2013, more than 850 students and around 150 teachers attended from schools across the UK.

Challenge Days are one-day taster events designed to introduce the idea of higher education (HE) to large numbers of academically able students from targeted schools, and build and strengthen relationships between the University and schools in areas of high deprivation and below national average attainment. These events provide a high level of academic challenge, allowing students to develop super-curricular interests (wider academic engagement) and be encouraged to aim high in their studies. Each Challenge Day consists of sample lectures, an inter-school debating challenge and activities introducing higher education. The sessions are delivered by academics and admissions staff, and participants also have the opportunity to speak to current undergraduates about their experiences of university.

In 2013, applications were received from 144 schools and 863 Year 10 students from 89 schools attended one of 12 Challenge Days. Of those schools accepted, 95 per cent met at least one of the priority criteria – below national average GCSE scores and above national average eligibility for free school meals. School groups were from a notably broad geographic range and included several from Scotland and Wales. Feedback received from teachers was very positive, with all aspects of each day – including subject sessions and appropriateness of the day – given a rating of between 4.5 and 5.0 on a five point scale (where 5.0 is excellent).

Further information www.study.cam.ac.uk/ undergraduate/access/ challengedays/

undergraduate/access/challengedays/


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Black, Asian and minority ethnicity outreach

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Cambridge’s BAME outreach programme – originally instigated by GEEMA (the Group to Encourage Ethnic Minority Applications) – has existed for more than 20 years. In that time, undergraduate admissions from UK BAME students have risen from five per cent to 16.4 per cent of the total. 180 students nominated by partner organisations engaged in a progressive new programme in 2013.

Work with students from black, Asian and minority ethnicity (BAME) backgrounds is one of the longeststanding strands of outreach activity at Cambridge, and one of the most successful. Since this outreach activity began, admissions from UK students identifying themselves as from BAME backgrounds have increased by more than 10 per cent and, now at 16.4 per cent, are consistent with the UK BAME population at large (14.0 per cent).1 Issues remain which have significant bearing on BAME work. Lower academic attainment amongst some ethnic groups hinders entry to selective universities; UCAS evidence suggests an inclination among minority ethnicity students to focus on institutions in areas with large BAME populations; and BAME students tend to apply to a narrow

range of highly competitive subjects, such as Medicine and Law. In order to address some of these issues, we offer a core strand of activity to progressively engage with a group of 180 of the most academically able students in Years 10-12. The programme consists of one-day skills workshops, subjectspecific projects and residential summer schools. Students invited to participate in the scheme are nominated by third party organisations, such as SEO Scholars2 and the Windsor Fellowship.3 Of the Year 12 participants that attended one of our BAME events in 2012, 16.9 per cent went on to apply to the University that year and, of those, more than a quarter (28.6 per cent) were made an offer.

Further information www.cam.ac.uk/bame/

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Ethnicity and National Identity in England and Wales 2011 (2012) Office for National Statistics. www.seo-london.org/seo-scholars/ 3 www.windsor-fellowship.org 2


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Further education and mature student outreach

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Outreach activity specifically focused on these underrepresented groups – students attending FE colleges and mature students. 97 FE students and 32 mature students attended tailored summer schools in 2013. Of the 2012 summer school participants, one in three FE students and 37.8 per cent of mature students went on to apply to the University and, of those, 32.1 per cent of the FE applicants and 42.9 per cent of the mature applicants were made offers.

Data show that further education (FE) sector students of standard age are the least likely group to apply successfully to the University,1 and have been least influenced by national efforts to widen access to selective universities.2 In order to combat these issues, in 2012-13 we offered a residential summer school and made 37 visits to target FE colleges around the UK. The summer school offers places for 100 students across three subject strands. Changes to recruitment saw a 15 per cent increase in attendance in 2013, with 98.7 per cent of participants reporting a positive perception of the University as a result of the summer school. Mature students (those who will be 21 or older when they commence their HE course) typically have more complicated circumstances to

consider than standard age applicants. They can be more concerned about achieving after periods out of education (both achieving a place on a higher education course, and their potential to achieve on that course), time pressures, family commitments,3 and cost implications.4 In order to encourage applications to Cambridge from suitably qualified mature students, the University’s four Colleges for mature students employ a Mature Outreach Ambassador to visit FE colleges and liaise with other relevant organisations. We also run a summer school and an Applicant Support Day to provide advice about the application process (in the previous round, one in three Support Day attendees submitted an application and, of those, 50.0 per cent received offers). For mature offer-holders, the University’s mature Colleges run a PREP Course to help them with their transition to Cambridge.

Further information FE students www.cam.ac.uk/fe/ Mature students www.cam.ac.uk/mature/

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Undergraduate Admissions Statistics, 2012 cycle (2013) Cambridge Admissions Office (www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/publications/docs/admissionsstatistics2012.pdf ). 2 Applications, Offers and Admissions to Research Led Universities (2009) Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and The Sutton Trust. 3 For Me or Not for Me? (2002) Davies et al, Department for Education and Employment, Research Report 297. 4 Potential Mature Students Recruitment to HE (2011) Ross et al, Department for Education and Skills, Research Report RR385.


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Children in care and care leavers

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University has held the Buttle UK Quality Mark since 2010. 215 students and 124 supporters engaged in 15 day events and seven virtual visits in 2012-13. Realise initiative recognised as an example of good practice in the sector by an independent enquiry in 2012.

The proportion of young people who have spent time in care who go on to higher education is very small, largely due to a gap in prior attainment – just 14.6 per cent of care leavers achieve five A*-C grades (including English and Mathematics) at GCSE,1 compared with 59.4 per cent of students nationally.2 However, in spite of the numbers being relatively small, engagement with this group is a high priority for the University. The University has held the Buttle UK Quality Mark3 since 2010, in recognition of our commitment to the support of students who are (or have previously spent time) in care. Care status is a priority selection criterion for our outreach events, and time spent in care is also flagged in

our admissions process in order to ensure that these students’ educational and social context is carefully considered by our selectors. Those admitted are offered additional financial support and year-round accommodation, should they want it. During 2012-13, 215 students in care of all ages and from 37 local authority areas participated in a series of day events in Cambridge as part of our Realise initiative. This initiative was recognised in 2012 as an example of good practice by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Looked After Children and Care Leavers,4 and in the last year has been identified by Buttle UK as best practice in access schemes and carespecific web pages. We also offered a one-day Insight event for professionals and carers. In the last admissions round, we admitted 13 care leavers for entry in 2013 or deferred entry in 2014, the highest figure since data was first collected.

Further information www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/access/care/ undergraduate/access/care/

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Outcomes for Children Looked After by Local Authorities in England 2011-12 (2012) Department for Education. GCSE and Equivalent Results in England 2011-12, Revised (2013) Department for Education. 3 www.buttleuk.org 4 www.thewhocarestrust.org.uk/data/files/Education_Matters_in_Care_September_2012.pdf 2


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HE Partnership

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A collaborative project continuing aspiration raising activity in local schools initiated under Aimhigher. Incorporates HE Getaways – an innovative strand which provides opportunities for students to experience higher education at a partner university. Engaged with more than 4,200 students in Years 9-11 in 201213 – an increase of 46.4 per cent on the previous year.

In 2011, after seven years, the government-funded national Aimhigher programme was discontinued. To ensure continuity of higher education information and guidance provision for younger students in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, we took the decision to continue to offer the aspiration-raising programme to local schools under a new title – HE Partnership. The schools engaged in the HE Partnership are those which have significant cohorts of students from non-traditional backgrounds (with little or no family experience of HE). There is a particular focus within the programme on younger learners in order to challenge low aspirations at an early stage. During 2012-13, our HE Partnership programme delivered a significant number and range of activities for

students in Years 9-11. These included 73 sessions at eight schools to introduce HE to approximately 2,100 students, as well as careers events reaching a further 500 students, and another nine visits to Cambridge Colleges and departments for 270 students. In response to the popularity of the HE Getaways project (offered in collaboration with the Universities of Coventry and Bedfordshire), we have expanded these highly successful residential events – offering a third event through a newly established partnership with the University of East Anglia, and hosting the first return HE Getaway in Cambridge, brought by the University of Bedfordshire. Across the four events, 80 students had the opportunity to experience HE in an unfamiliar environment outside their home region. Also developed for 2012-13 was a series of six A Day in the Life of a Student events run in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University, rolled out following a successful pilot in 2011-12. During 2013-14, we will be looking to expand the data capture for the programme to enable better monitoring of participation, impact, and time and geographical trends.

Further information www.cam.ac.uk/hepartnership/


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HE+

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A unique collaborative project working with eight consortia of schools across the UK. 1,697 of the brightest Year 12 students from schools in the current areas engaged with HE+ activities in 2012-13, an increase of 83.1 per cent on 2011-12. Of the 2011-12 participants, 70.6 per cent were accepted to Russell Group institutions.1 Of the participants who applied to Cambridge, 42.7 per cent were made offers.

Every year a number of students who secure grades that would make them competitive applicants to Cambridge, Oxford or other selective universities choose not to apply. In some instances, these are students who have been attending schools or colleges with little or no experience of preparing students for entry to highly selective universities, and lack peers within their year group of the same potential and who share their aspirations. Our HE+ programme provides such students with a community for whom aiming high is the norm, rather than the exception.

The HE+ initiative is unique in that it encourages schools and colleges to collaborate to form regional consortia and to engage their very best students in a sustained yearlong programme. Students have the opportunity to take part in academic extension classes, subject masterclasses, information and guidance sessions, and visits to the University, all delivered by the Cambridge College linked with their area (see p13). During 2012-13, three new areas – Hampshire, Herefordshire and Swansea – were added to the established consortia in Cumbria, Huddersfield, Manchester, Rotherham and Stourbridge. There are now 48 schools and colleges collaborating through the initiative (up 33.3 per cent on 2011-12). In addition, the HE+ microsite was launched in April 2013, hosting a range of resources across nine subject areas to complement extension classes and academically challenge students. In 2013-14, the programme will be extended to four further regions in the UK and it is projected that up to 2,500 students will be involved in the initiative in total.

Further information www.study.cam.ac.uk/ undergraduate/access/heplus.html undergraduate/access/heplus.html

www.myheplus.com

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Figure relates to participants we were able to track, and includes acceptances to the University of Cambridge.


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Departmental outreach The University’s academic faculties and departments offer an extensive yearround programme of engagement with the arts and sciences.1 There are initiatives for all ages from primary upwards, which aim to encourage enthusiasm and educational confidence, and consolidate learning. The following pages outline two such examples. Department of Engineering outreach n

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During 2012-13, 61 events were offered, supported by a team of 83 Department volunteers. Engaged with almost 1,000 primary, secondary and sixth form students through Department outreach events, and a further 2,600 people through participation in other Cambridge Admissions Office, College and community projects.

Through its outreach programme, the Department of Engineering aims to introduce children to the fun and excitement of engineering in a university environment; to provide opportunities for undergraduates, postgraduates and staff to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists; and to develop engineering resources for use at home and in the classroom. During the year, the Department delivered 20 activities for sixth form students, attended by more than 1,200 participants. These included residential events in Cambridge (offered in conjunction with the Sutton Trust, Headstart, the JCB

Academy and Teach First); and regional initiatives, such as the Engineering Masterclass in Newcastle upon Tyne (where 31 students from 11 local sixth form colleges participated in a lecture, a problem solving session and a practical activity). In addition, Engineering expanded its outreach activity for younger age groups – increasing its events for students in Years 9-11 from 10 in 2011-12 to 15 in 2012-13. In light of improved publicity, Department tours for school and other interested groups have been particularly popular. In 2013-14, the Department intends to increase participation in Year 12 activities, as well as improve attendance at its series of Family Workshops. In order to support the national drive to increase female participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, initiatives to encourage Year 10 girls to progress to A Level Physics are also in development.

Further information www.eng.cam.ac.uk/outreach/

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Further information about outreach activities offered by the University, museums, departments and student groups can be found in the online Outreach Directory (www.cam.ac.uk/public-engagement/voluntary-sector).


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University of Cambridge Museums outreach n

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235 events and activities were attended by more than 21,000 participants during 2012-13. 1,103 school visits enabled more than 32,700 students to access the collections. Eight new posts were created to increase engagement with families, children and young people.

The University of Cambridge Museums (UCM) is a consortium of eight University museums, which also works in partnership with the University Botanic Garden and other University collections. Together, these collections cover more than 4.5 billion years of natural objects, artefacts and art. In 2012, with funding from the Arts Council, the UCM launched Connecting Collections – a threeyear programme to attract a larger and more diverse audience to the University’s collections. Throughout 2012-13, the UCM offered a great array of events and activities under the Connecting Collections initiative. These

included Twilight at the Museums – late opening across the collections during the February half-term – and a programme of 59 Summer at the Museums events which attracted almost 7,000 people (an increase of 65 per cent on the previous year). The Thresholds project saw 10 poets in residence engage with 397 students from eight local schools and youth groups; and 135 students participated in eight days of Source workshops to help them prepare for GCSE and AS/A Level Art and Design exams. The UCM also actively contributed to the University’s annual Science Festival and Festival of Ideas. Over the coming year, the UCM will be undertaking research to improve understanding of its audiences and their engagement, as well as developing a number of innovative digital projects that will connect objects and collections and provide additional resources in order to enhance understanding and enjoyment of the collections. In addition, the first major exhibition to bring together the collections of all eight museums – Discoveries – will take place at Two Temple Place in London in spring 2014.

Further information www.cam.ac.uk/museums/


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College Area Links Scheme The Area Links Scheme1 was established in 2000 to enable the Cambridge Colleges to build effective, coherent relationships with schools and colleges across the country. The following pages provide examples of some of the extensive work being conducted by Colleges.

Downing College outreach n

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Working with maintained sector schools and colleges in link areas across South West England. Actively engaged with 1,760 students, teachers and advisers from 70 schools and colleges in the South West during a sevenweek period in spring 2013.

Downing College launched its Schools Liaison Project in 2000 to promote educational opportunities and raise aspirations, especially amongst talented students who come from disadvantaged or under-represented backgrounds, and those whose families or schools have little experience of higher education. The College has a full-time Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer, who spends a significant amount of time visiting schools and organising local events in the College’s link areas in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset. These include a series of Oxford and Cambridge Information Days for Year 12 students, which give

prospective applicants the chance to meet staff and students from both Universities through a number of talks and interactive sessions about the admissions process and various aspects of student life. In 2013, 460 students and 28 teachers/advisers attended the six events. In addition, each summer the College invites more than 50 students to Cambridge for its South West Open Day. Invitees are highachieving Year 12 students who are nominated by a teacher/school staff. Accommodation, meals and activities are free, and transport costs are heavily subsidised. The aim is to provide an insight into student life and study for those who may not otherwise get the opportunity to visit the University. In 2013-14, Downing will be launching its new South West Teachers’ Roadshow, aimed at offering specific advice to teachers and advisors on how best to support students in making a competitive application.

Further information www.dow.cam.ac.uk/schools

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www.cam.ac.uk/arealinks/


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Newnham College outreach n

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Working closely with schools in link areas of Birmingham, Walsall, Enfield, Redbridge, and Barking and Dagenham. Visits made to 31 link area schools in 2012-13, including five multi-school events, and visits from 35 link area schools were hosted at the College.

The Newnham College Schools Liaison Initiative has developed strong links with the schools and colleges in its link areas in the West Midlands and Greater London; offering school visits and talks, as well as more structured Cambridge Taster events for Years 10-13. Alongside the regional outreach work, the College hosts a number of activities in Cambridge, such as Subject Taster Days where high achieving Year 12 girls are nominated by their school to visit Newnham for a day. In order to raise the profile of science courses among talented young women at UK state schools, Newnham also hosts a Women in Science residential course during which 30 Year 12 students (11 from link area schools) stay at the College for three days to experience life as a Cambridge Natural Scientist.

During 2012-13, Newnham visited 31 link area schools, and received visits from 35. Across all activities, the College engaged directly with more than 3,500 students, teachers, HE advisers and parents. In 2013-14, Newnham will be increasing its outreach activity further. In the West Midlands, the College will be launching a new Access Bus project to reach students in Years 10 and 11 at schools across Birmingham and Walsall; and running a Teachers’ Roadshow. In Redbridge, Newnham will also be working with the relevant University of Oxford area link College to deliver a new programme of events for students in Year 9 and above.

Further information www.newn.cam.ac.uk/joiningnewnham/undergraduateadmissions/school-liaison-initiative


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Selwyn College outreach n

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Working with schools and colleges in link areas throughout Scotland, Yorkshire and Humberside, and the South East. Received visits to the College from 60 schools during 2012-13, and visited almost 90 schools in the same period.

Selwyn College is committed to the aims of its outreach work – to ensure that all talented students are well informed about their university options and the opportunities available at Cambridge. During 2012-13, the College hosted just fewer than 60 visits from schools and made nearly 90 visits to schools and colleges in link areas, working with students in Years 1013/S3-S6. In collaboration with link area partners, the College also ran a series of larger events in Scotland, Leeds, Rotherham and Cambridge to encourage students to consider applying to the University and to offer advice and guidance to teachers on ways to support prospective applicants. These activities included a South and West Yorkshire Teachers’ Roadshow; three Information Seminars across Scotland for students in S5; and the

Leeds and Wakefield Oxford and Cambridge Programme, a threepart initiative open to all Year 12 students at state schools/colleges in those areas. It is estimated that over the year Selwyn engaged with approximately 3,100 students (an increase of 26.8 per cent on the previous year) and 100 teachers. During 2013-14, the College is planning to build on its existing work with sixth form students in Yorkshire by expanding its outreach activity in the region to students in Years 10 and 11. Selwyn will also be introducing a residential sciences summer school for Year 12 students, to be hosted at the College and to give participants a taste of the science courses available at the University.

Further information www.sel.cam.ac.uk/Prospectus/ widen.html

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CUSU Shadowing Scheme

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Provides the opportunity to experience daily life as a Cambridge student. 374 places offered in 2013. More than a third of participants typically go on to apply to the University.

The Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) Shadowing Scheme provides UK students with the chance to experience life as a Cambridge student first-hand. The Scheme, which has been running since 2000, targets those with little school or family experience of university, and those who have reservations about applying to Cambridge. Each January and February, CUSU offers the three-day residential Shadowing Scheme, during which almost 400 Year 12 students have the opportunity to ‘shadow’ current undergraduates, attending lectures and social events with them. The Scheme is enormously popular and greatly oversubscribed – 2,111 applications were received for the 2013 Scheme. Feedback shows that

85.1 per cent of the 2013 participants left the Scheme feeling that they would be confident about applying to Cambridge, 84.2 per cent felt that their mentor was able to give or find out for them as much information about Cambridge and/or their course as they wanted, and 87.0 per cent felt their mentor went out of their way to make their visit enjoyable.1 Data from the 2012 Shadowing Scheme show that 32.3 per cent of the 286 participants made an application to Cambridge, and of those 26.7 per cent received offers. To date, the Shadowing Scheme has been open to students in Year 12 (or equivalent), but for 2014 CUSU is extending the Scheme to be open to mature applicants (those who will be aged 21 or older when they start their university course).

Further information www.applytocambridge.com/shadowing/ shadowing/

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Shadowing Scheme 2013 Report (2013) CUSU.


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Open days

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17,290 bookings were received for the University-wide Cambridge Open Days on 4 and 5 July 2013. 115 College and department open days were held during 2013.

Each year, we offer a programme of more than 100 open days to enable prospective applicants and their advisers to see for themselves what studying at the University might be like – to find out more about our courses and Colleges, to see our world class facilities, and to speak to current students and academic and admissions staff. While the vast majority of our visitors come from the UK, our open days attract prospective applicants from around the globe – for example, in 2013 we welcomed students from as far afield as Brazil, South Africa, China and New Zealand. As part of the University’s continual drive for improvement, a number of developments were implemented for the 2013 Cambridge Open Days.

These included responding to demand by increasing the number of places available (bookings in 2013 were up by 14.9 per cent on the previous year), introducing a further central Welcome Desk, providing free shuttle buses, and rebranding the event. In addition, we developed a mobile website – www.camexplore.com – to provide information to Open Day visitors, help them plan their day and navigate around the city, and promote our new media content. Over the week of the Open Days, the site accrued 31,000 page views, just under 3,200 visits and more than 1,700 unique visits. Feedback provided by Cambridge Open Days attendees is consistently excellent and this was maintained for the 2013 event, with average scores across all sessions of greater than four out of five. Data show that 41.9 per cent of students who attended the Cambridge Open Days in 2012 made an application to the University and, of those, 35.3 per cent were made an offer of a place (14.8 per cent of all student attendees).

Further information www.cam.ac.uk/opendays/


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Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences

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Nine large-scale conferences held at seven venues across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 7,300 students and 900 teachers/ advisers attend annually, more than 73 per cent of whom are from the state sector. Approximately 15 per cent of student attendees go on to apply to Cambridge.

The Student Conferences are a joint venture with the University of Oxford which allow both Universities to reach out to the best and brightest Year 12 students wherever they may be found in the UK, and effectively take open days to those who might otherwise not engage with either institution. Each one-day Student Conference offers a programme of sessions to provide the latest information on the courses we offer, student life, finance, the application process and graduate career opportunities. Attendees are able to speak to academic and admissions staff as well as current undergraduates from both institutions, and separate sessions are available to cater for the specific information needs of teachers and advisers. During March 2013, nine Student Conferences were held in seven venues in Edinburgh, Leicester, Lisburn, Greater London, Merseyside, Newcastle and Swansea. The events attracted 8,271 students and teachers from 619

schools and colleges, 73.7 per cent of whom (where known) were from the state sector. For 2013, the Welsh Conference was relocated to Swansea (from Cardiff ) in order to increase capacity and improve access to the event for a greater number of Welsh students. As a result, the Welsh Conference not only saw bookings increase by 21.7 per cent on the previous year but was oversubscribed. In response to the year-on-year growth in attendance at the Midlands event, this Student Conference will also be moved to a larger venue for 2014. Overall, 15.2 per cent of those who attended a Conference in 2012 (1,552 students) went on to apply to Cambridge for 2013 entry. Of those, 32.1 per cent (498 students) were successful in being made an offer to study at the University.

Further information www.studentconferences.org.uk


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Higher education conventions

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University exhibited at 40 largescale regional higher education conventions across the UK in 2013. These conventions provided exposure to approximately 282,000 attendees and enabled direct engagement with more than 30,000 students and advisers.

Each year the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) organises a series of around 50 higher education (HE) conventions across the UK. These regional events provide HE institutions with the opportunity to advise large numbers of prospective applicants face-to-face about their courses and the application process, and to signpost to sources of further information. These events are attended by approximately 282,000 students (primarily in Year 12) from more than 2,200 schools and colleges. Several other similar events also exist outside the UCAS network. In addition to the multitude of smaller school/college talks and careers and HE fairs attended during 2013, we exhibited at 40 of these large-scale regional

conventions, during which 29,100 copies of the Undergraduate Prospectus were distributed to prospective applicants. Along with one-to-one tailored advice and guidance provided by our representatives, we also delivered presentations at more than half of these events. A core advantage of these conventions is that they provide a means by which we can come into contact with students and advisers who may not have previously considered Cambridge for various reasons and who, as such, would be unlikely to attend a CambridgespeciďŹ c event.

Further information www.study.cam.ac.uk/ undergraduate/events/hefairs.html

undergraduate/events/hefairs.html


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Publications

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Guides available to cater for speciďŹ c audiences and information needs, for example teachers/HE advisers and parents. In addition to hard copies, several publications available online to download as PDFs, or view via a digital publishing platform. Recently redesigned Undergraduate Prospectus shortlisted for an industry award in 2013 (Heist Awards, Best Undergraduate Prospectus).

Provision of high quality information that is easily accessible is vital if we are to attract the brightest and best applicants from all backgrounds, and who are suitably prepared and equipped for study at Cambridge. There continues to be great demand for prospectuses and related literature, which remain crucial reference tools for prospective students and their advisers, and play an important role in shaping initial impressions of the University. This demand is evident both through consistent or increased usage of printed publications, and through analytics of these publications being accessed online – during the year, there were more than 30,000 active engagements with the online page turning versions of our publications. The Undergraduate Prospectus is reviewed annually by conducting market research with the core target audience, the feedback from which is used to inform ongoing

development of all literature and ensure that the right information is being disseminated in appropriate and accessible ways to meet needs and encourage further engagement. In addition to the Prospectus and other guides primarily aimed at prospective applicants, we oer dedicated publications for teachers and HE advisers (including a regular free subscription-service e-newsletter), and parents and supporters. During 2014, we will be undertaking more in-depth research into the information needs of teachers and HE advisers in order to review and update our provision for this key market group.

Further information www.study.cam.ac.uk/ undergraduate/publications/

undergraduate/publications/


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Digital and new media

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Homepage of the Undergraduate Study website restructured to integrate dynamic social media content and to highlight latest videos and student blogs. Five new films produced and launched. Number of ‘likes’ received by the Undergraduate Admissions Facebook page more than doubled in 2012-13 (to 14,981 from 7,028 at the end of 2011-12). Currently, 131 films on the Undergraduate Study playlist on the University’s YouTube channel, accumulating a total of more than 1.3 million views to date.

In 2012-13, the homepage of the Undergraduate Study website was restructured to give a richer user experience through the inclusion of social media and films. In order to make the information clearer and easier to access, we reviewed, reorganised and extensively updated the financial support and application information pages, as well as introduced new content and films for students with a disability. Almost two million unique visitors accessed the website last year (an increase of 24.6 per cent on the previous year), with approximately 10.1 per cent of visits made via mobile devices, a proportion which is growing. Since its launch in 2011, the Be Cambridge microsite – aimed at providing a flavour of student life at the University through short films, student blogs and social media – has grown significantly. During the year, we carried out focus groups to review content and navigation and, in light of these findings, redeveloped the site to better meet the needs and interests of its users. Be Cambridge was relaunched in August 2013, and over the coming year we will undertake further market research to review the effectiveness of the site and its content. The use of video media to encourage academically able students from all backgrounds to apply to Cambridge is a key element that runs throughout all strands of our digital outreach.

During 2012-13, we produced five new films – promoted on and accessible from all of our digital platforms – introducing achievements and facilities available (Cambridge in Numbers), and providing reassurance on student life matters (First 48 Hours, Day in the Life, Clubs and Societies, Sports). In the 10 months since its launch, Cambridge in Numbers was viewed more than 18,500 times and won an industry award (IVCA Gold Award for Best Post Production). The four student life films were launched in August 2013 to coincide with the confirmation period and attracted more than 12,750 views in the first few weeks. Throughout 2013-14, we will be developing concepts for further films and updating existing content.

Further information Undergraduate Study website www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/ undergraduate/ Be Cambridge www.becambridge.com


Calendar of events The calendar below provides an overview of some of the core outreach events to be offered by the University, Colleges and CUSU in 2014.

January to February January to February February to April February to October 18-28 March March to July March to September April July July July 3-4 July July to August September October to November Throughout the year Throughout the year

CUSU Shadowing Scheme Challenge Days Subject Masterclasses College open days Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences Department open days Higher education fairs and conventions FE Teachers’ Conference FE Summer School Mature Students’ Summer School Experience Cambridge Cambridge Open Days Sutton Trust Summer Schools Mature Students’ Application Support Day The Subject Matters BAME events Children in care events

Further information www.cam.ac.uk/outreachevents/

Cambridge Admissions Office Fitzwilliam House 32 Trumpington Street Cambridge CB2 1QY 01223 333308 admissions@cam.ac.uk www.cam.ac.uk

Details are correct at the time of printing (December 2013). © University of Cambridge, 2013 Designed by Cambridge Design Studio Printed by MWL Print Group

Raising Aspirations: Our commitment to outreach  

The University of Cambridge Raising Aspirations: Our commitment to outreach

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