Cambridge attracts more applicants and accepts more state school pupils

A bit of data crunching for this news story, as you can see from the numbers. A good use for my A-Level Maths, even if I am an Arts student!


Just under two thirds of UK students accepted in 2012 came from state schools (63.3%), a 4.5% increase on the previous year. The proportion of independent school students accepted, at 36.7% in 2012, compares with 41.2% in 2011. The success rate amongst those accepted in the state school was made up largely from grammar school students (33.7%), followed by sixth form colleges (26.6%) and comprehensive schools (24.9%).

The success rate, comparing applications and acceptances, in state schools stood at 27.1%, while independent schools still dominate with 33.7%. However, it was revealed that the number of privately-schooled students is the lowest figure for 30 years.

The University says that it remained on target to meet its goal of a more representative undergraduate body, achieved without compromising academic standards.

They attribute today’s figures to its bursary schemes, outreach programmes and transparent admissions decisions.  The University invests around £2.7 million a year in outreach initiatives across the UK designed to identify and engage with students from under-represented groups, and encourage them to apply.

Dr Mike Sewell, admissions director for the University, said: “Our commitment to fair admissions makes this available to students from all backgrounds, who succeed in their application because they have demonstrated academic excellence.”

He added: “The collegiate University works hard to reach talented and ambitious students throughout the UK, talk with them about why they should consider Cambridge, and tackle the barriers that might put them off applying.”

There was a 2% increase in the number of applications to the University, standing at 15,701 for 2012, the year that the maximum £9,000 tuition fees were introduced. Acceptances rose by 5%, from 3,437 in 2012, 160 more than in 2011. 97.4% of successful applicants achieved no less than A*AA, the standard offer for most undergraduate courses.

Geographically, 37.4% of applications came from overseas, with the Greater London area in second place at 14.6%. The regions with the lowest percentages of applications include Northern Ireland (1.3%), the North East (1.5%) and Wales (1.7%).

In addition, the number of students who declared they had an ethnic minority background or ‘other’ also increased to 16.4% in 2012, compared to 15% in 2011. With regards to gender, the male to female ratio remained unchanged at 54:46.

Subjects with the highest application success rate include Classics (46.9%), Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic (43.9%) and Theology (41%). Subjects nearer the bottom of the list include Architecture (9.9%), Economics (12.9%)

There was some variation in the percentage of state school students accepted by college. Trinity was made up of 50.8% students coming from state schools, compared to 76.1% at King’s.

Story link: http://www.varsity.co.uk/news/5991

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