The University of Cambridge on Wednesday launched a free one-year Foundation Year course targeted at talented students from backgrounds of educational and social disadvantage in the UK as a new route to address the world-renowned institution’s diversity agenda. The one-year course is aimed at a new stream of applicants who have the ability to succeed at Cambridge University but have been prevented from reaching their full potential by their circumstances. The university says it will prepare them for further learning and offer them the chance to progress straight to an undergraduate degree at the university.

“The launch of the Cambridge Foundation Year will open up Cambridge to a new field of candidates and transform lives,” said Professor Stephen Toope, Cambridge Vice-Chancellor. “Students will be drawn from a range of backgrounds, the common link being that their circumstances have prevented them from realising their academic potential.

They will benefit from our personal approach to teaching and grow in confidence and understanding, and we will benefit from them joining and further diversifying our community,” he said.

Up to 50 Foundation Year students will arrive at Cambridge in 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.

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