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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Undergraduate admissions – 25 August

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    25 August 2020

    We have now received students’ revised grades from exam boards and as a result, we are delighted to say that we expect to welcome 125 new undergraduates to the College in the autumn – a record number.

    Widening participation

    Murray Edwards College has a reputation for being committed to widening participation, and to achieving an intake that is reflective of UK society.   We are then very pleased to say that we anticipate 74% of UK students starting this year will come from state schools. This represents a significant increase from last year (2019 = 68%).   We know that state school intake is not the only important measure when it comes to evaluating widening participation strategies, and other geo-demographic indicators are comparable with previous years.  However, we cannot reveal further details about students’ personal backgrounds as it could lead to their identification given the small numbers of individuals involved.

    Our admissions process

    Each year, the College makes more offers than it has places available.  We do this for a variety of reasons:  not least is the desire to give as many young women as possible, from all backgrounds, the opportunity to study at Cambridge.  Also, roughly half of offer holders will defer their place, withdraw their application or miss required grades in their assessment.  In any given year we have the opportunity to confirm places for some students who have shown the highest potential throughout the application process but have not yet met the conditions of their offers.

    This year we had 158 offers accepted with the expectation that we would fill around 105 places in October 2020. Before the government announcement, 70 offer holders met the conditions of their offers while the number of applicants not meeting the conditions of their offers was slightly higher than in previous years.  The College then undertook a very serious review of all the applications.  In doing so we considered each student’s academic record, school/college reference, personal statement, and any written work submitted, performance in any written assessment, contextual data including geo-demographic data, school/college data and data in individual circumstances, and performance at interview.  This careful assessment allowed us to confirm a further 26 students who had not met the conditions of their offers. Out of that 26, 21 come from UK state schools, with the rest from independent schools or overseas. In addition, we have confirmed places for five students from the intercollegiate ‘Summer Pool’ and for two students via UCAS Adjustment. Having now received students’ revised results, we are very pleased to have been able to offer 22 further confirmed places for this year and 2 deferred places for students for 2021.

    Looking ahead

    This has been an extraordinary year and we appreciate just how stressful it has been for students, teachers, parents and carers. As we turn our attention towards the start of next Term, we would like to reassure all students (but particularly our incoming first years) that we are here to support you, to guide you and to help you have the best possible experience of Cambridge that we can offer. We look forward to seeing you in the autumn.