Undergraduate Admissions Handbook 2012-13
1.1 Code of Practice
Aims of the admissions policy
The aims of the admissions policy of the University and the Colleges, as agreed after review in 2006, are as follows.
The principal aim is:
‘To offer admission to students of the highest intellectual potential, irrespective of social, racial, religious and financial considerations.’
Two further aims are:
- Aspiration: To encourage applications from groups that are, at present, under-represented in Cambridge.
- Fairness: To ensure that each applicant is individually assessed, without partiality or bias, in accordance with the policy on Equal Opportunities, and to ensure that, as far as possible, an applicant’s chance of admission to Cambridge does not depend on choice of College.
To achieve these aims, Colleges should, as far as possible:
- Assess applicants individually, without partiality or bias, in accordance with the policy on Equal Opportunities, and monitor their admission statistics on a regular basis. In assessing potential, interviewers shall only have regard to factors relevant to the applicant's academic aptitude and no applicant will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, colour, ethnic or national origin, age, socio-economic background, disability, family circumstances, religious or political beliefs.
- Equal Opportunities Policy (www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/policy/equal.html)
- Selection criteria used by the Cambridge Colleges for undergraduate admissions (Section 1.4)
- Use of contextual data (www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/info/contextualdata.html and Appendix R)
- Guidance for applicants with additional support requirements (Section 2.7)
- The Extenuating Circumstances Form (Section 2.1)
- Monitoring of admissions statistics (Section 3.2)
- Race Equality Policy (www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/hr/policy/race/)
- Ensure that all those involved with recruitment and admissions are appropriately prepared, and that all interviewers are given copies of the booklet Information for Admissions Interviewers for the Cambridge Colleges.
- Guidance and training for Admissions Tutors (Section 7.1)
- Undergraduate student selection: training seminars and workshops (Section 7)
- Information for admissions interviewers for the Cambridge Colleges (See Appendix A)
- Ensure that all applicants are given sufficiently detailed information about the interview procedures, written tests, or any other form of assessment for their subject, before they attend for interview.
- Arrangements for interviews and other assessments (Section 1.4)
- The admission and assessment of international applicants (Section 2.4)
- When requested to do so, within the constraints of the Data Protection Act, communicate feedback to schools/colleges about individual applicants.
- Feedback to schools/colleges about unsuccessful applicants (Section 1.9)
- Respond promptly to letters from schools/colleges or other appropriate bodies concerning decisions taken and, where appropriate, send a copy of the Admissions Complaints Procedure. If there are issues that cannot readily be resolved, Colleges should consult with the Director of Admissions for the Cambridge Colleges as to how to proceed.
- Admissions Complaints Procedure (Section 1.10)
- Co-operate with the University authorities in attempting to admit an agreed annual intake of undergraduates, broadly divided between Arts and Science as previously agreed, and admit students for the Medical and Veterinary Sciences Tripos as agreed with the Chair of the appropriate medical or veterinary medical group.
- Target Undergraduate Numbers (Section 1.7)
- Admissions procedures for Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (Section 2.6)
- Co-operate with Subject Convenors, CAO and other Colleges over subject moderation, the working of the Winter and Summer pools and the allocation of open applications.
- Abide by the agreed timing for communicating with applicants at various stages of the admissions cycle, and check the contents of such letters against the UCAS guidelines.
- UCAS information: Admissions Guide and various other UCAS publications
- Examine ways in which able students from under-represented groups can be encouraged to apply to Cambridge, and co-ordinate such initiatives with the Head of Widening Participation at CAO and, where appropriate, GEEMA and the CUSU Access Officer.