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Cambridge Admissions Office

 

Much of our admissions and related research is undertaken or supported by a research unit within the Cambridge Admissions Office, which was expanded significantly in 2016/17.

The research and evaluation remit of this unit can be summarised under two broad and inter-related themes:

  1. Efforts to continually assess and improve the fairness of our admissions, including informing our use of contextual data in the admissions process and our admissions targets (and also the targeting of some of our outreach activities). More specifically:
  • Profiling the national pool of potential applicants with high prior academic attainment by characteristic and background using data from UCAS, HESA and the DfE (insofar as their data policies allow);
  • Making comparisons between Cambridge and the wider HE sector;
  • Assessing the predictive quality and impact of contextual data, and other characteristics and circumstances, for example on admission and then in terms of student success (such as degree outcomes) once admitted;
  • Assessing the predictive quality and evaluating the impact of our recently introduced admissions assessments in our admissions process;
  • Researching the proxies that Cambridge and the wider HE sector utilise to identify individuals who have characteristics, circumstances or backgrounds that are typically associated with disadvantage or under-representation in highly selective HE
  1. Conducting and developing the evaluation of widening participation and outreach activities, including:
  • Developing a comprehensive evaluation framework for these activities, complemented by evaluation plans for individual activities (for more information, see our 2019-20 Access and Participation Plan, https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/files/publications/university_of_cambridge_app_2019_20.pdf, from page 32);
  • Coordinating and supporting the monitoring and evaluation of widening participation and outreach activities across the collegiate University, in part through an institutional rollout of the Higher Education Access Tracker (HEAT);
  • Tracking the HE progression outcomes of participants in our widening participation and outreach activities, as part of our evaluation of these activities (where progression to Cambridge or to HE more generally is an intended outcome or interim evaluation measure).

For further information on our Admissions Research, please email: caoresearch@admin.cam.ac.uk.


Latest research

Formulating admissions targets for the University of Cambridge’s Access and Participation Plan (2020-21 to 2024-25)

Research Date: 31/08/2019

Researcher: Dr Rachel Sequeira, Research Analyst (Admissions), Cambridge Admissions Office

The University of Cambridge has set four access (admissions) targets for the 2020-21 to 2024-25 Access and Participation Plan: to increase the proportion of UK resident students admitted (i) from UK state maintained sector schools/colleges, (ii) from POLAR4 quintile 1 areas, (iii) from POLAR4 quintile 1 or 2 areas, (iv) from regional IMD quintile 1 or 2 areas. This paper outlines the methodology used to formulate these targets.

Self-assessment for the 2020-21 to 2024-25 Access and Participation Plan

Research Date: 31/08/2019

Researcher: Dr Rachel Sequeira, Research Analyst (Admissions), Cambridge Admissions Office

This paper contains part of our 2019 self-assessment of the University of Cambridge’s current, and recent, admissions position (it is designed to be read alongside the 2020-21 to 2024-25 Access and Participation Plan, which contains the rest of the assessment).

Financial support and undergraduate outcomes 2019

Research Date: 20/06/2019

Researcher: Sonia Ilie, Alexa Horner, Neil Kaye, Sara Curran - University of Cambridge

This report provides evidence as to the relationship between financial support provision and outcomes for undergraduate students in the University of Cambridge. The report fits within a broader research effort in the University to evaluate the impact of financial support, and the flagship Cambridge Bursary Scheme (CBS) in particular, on a series of critical student outcomes, and to guide the future evolution of financial support policies in the institution.

Office for Fair Access (OFFA) Access Agreement 2017-18: Re-evaluation of admissions target for maintained school pupils

Research Date: 01/10/2016

Researcher: Dr Alexa Horner, Research Officer, Cambridge Admissions Office

This paper details our 2015-16 re-evaluation of the University of Cambridge’s maintained sector admissions target, which informed the collegiate University’s decision to retain an ultimate target of 64% in our 2017-18 Access Agreement.

Office for Fair Access (OFFA) Access Agreement 2017-18: Re-evaluation of POLAR3 Q1 and Q2 admissions target

Research Date: 01/10/2016

Researcher: Dr Alexa Horner, Research Officer, Cambridge Admissions Office

This paper details our 2015-16 re-evaluation of the University of Cambridge’s POLAR3 admissions target, which informed the collegiate University’s decision to retain an ultimate target of 13% in our 2017-18 Access Agreement.

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Undergraduate Study:
+44 (0)1223 333308
admissions@cam.ac.uk

Postgraduate Study:
+44 (0)1223 760606
Graduate.Admissions@admin.cam.ac.uk