Cambridge University Will Offer Free Foundation Year for Educationally & Socially Disadvantaged Students

The University of Cambridge has launched a free Foundation Year, which will offer the chance to educationally and socially disadvantaged students to pursue studies at the institution and diversify Cambridge’s student community as well.

Through the one-year course, students will be able to advance directly to an undergraduate degree at Cambridge, Erudera College News reports.

Through a press release, the University of Cambridge announced that the Foundation Year will be free to students, while two philanthropists Christina and Peter Dawson have decided to offer an amount of £5 million gift to fund the launch of the programme as well as full one-year scholarships for every accepted student.

Christina Dawson said that she and Peter would do their utmost to support Cambridge to address the educational disadvantages widely.

“Indeed, the need for this foundation year has become ever clearer as the pandemic has exacerbated inequities and disadvantages,” she said.

Whereas,  the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge Stephen Toope said that Cambridge’s Foundation Year would open up the university to different groups of candidates and transform their lives.

“We are hugely grateful that the generosity of the Foundation Year programme’s founding benefactors, Christina and Peter Dawson, has provided the means so that students can take up this opportunity regardless of their financial situation,” he said.

The groups that the Foundation Year intends to reach are those individuals who have been in care, those who have turned away from their families, those who did not have the chance to continue education due to health issues as well as those students who were forced to interrupt their education and are not able to make a competitive application for an undergraduate degree at Cambridge.

Other potential candidates include:

  • Students who were not able to access the right qualifications.
  • Students with a low-income background.
  • Students from schools which do not send most students to university.

Programme’s first intake will begin in October 2022 and up to 50 Foundation Year students will arrive that time in Cambridge after submitting their applications through UCAS by January 2022 and attending interviews and necessary assessments.

Students will pursue studies at one of Cambridge’s 13 colleges which are part of the pilot scheme and will be benefiting from support services, community as well as academic stimulation provided from the university. Among others, students will also have the chance to study degrees in arts, humanities, and social sciences without needing to apply to university again. In the meantime, it is expected that more subjects, such as STEM subjects will be added to the Foundation Programme.

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