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Cambridge to give disadvantaged students a second chance

Yes, you read that right

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In an attempt to improve access the university has now changed their policy so that less advantaged students have a 'second chance' on results day to secure a place at Cambridge.

The move will mean that up to 100 extra students from less affluent backgrounds could be expected to be able to 'trade up' to a place at Cambridge if their grades on results day are much better than expected.

This policy of 'adjustment' is one that many other universities already do – with O*ford and Cambridge notably not allowing it. Therefore this change is pretty significant and is an extra lifeline for those who do better than they perhaps thought. Especially, because currently the only solution is to take a gap year and apply again – something not necessarily financially feasible for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The factors they will use to decide whether or not a student can qualify for this will be from the normal factors: where their home address is on the 'deprivation index', normal rates of progression to Oxbridge from their area, whether or not they were on free school meals and how many students get into Oxbridge from their school every year, among other elements of their situation will be considered.

This is definitely a step in the right direction for a university that has been recently criticised regarding how it approaches access. As Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope is quoted in The Times, that Cambridge 'must remain open to talent – wherever that talent is found.'