Disadvantaged A-level students who did not receive an offer off their predicted grades could still get a place at Cambridge if they outperform expectations, under a UCAS scheme.
UCAS’s ‘adjustment’ scheme allows universities to offer places to students whose final results exceed their predicted grades.
Oxford has not announced any decision to join Cambridge on the scheme, telling Cherwell: “We watch with interest the evaluation of Cambridge’s decision to partake in adjustment.”
The plan will see Cambridge offer up to 100 undergraduate places to disadvantaged A-level students who get unexpectedly good results.
Cambridge’s director of admissions Dr Sam Lucy said of the scheme: “Adjustment provides those students who go on to achieve highly with an opportunity to be reconsidered as soon as they have their final results, rather than having to make a reapplication the following year.”
Russell Group Head of Policy Sarah Stevens described the decision as “welcome” and “further proof that Cambridge is looking for different ways to promote greater diversity among its students.”
Oxford Students’ Union VP Access Lucas Bertholdi-Saad told Cherwell: “I certainly think this is a step to be welcomed. I think Oxford was under the impression that such a step would not work with UCAS; the University is committed to access and I hope we will look at this again.”
A spokesperson for Oxford University told Cherwell: “Oxford is fully committed to being more reflective of wider-society and supporting prospective students of all backgrounds to make competitive applications to Oxford.
“We watch with interest the evaluation of Cambridge’s decision to partake in adjustment, meanwhile we know we have more to do in attracting more under-represented students to apply to Oxford, and are working energetically on our own concerted, strategic approach to widening participation to Oxford, including bespoke collaboration with schools and prospective students.
“With this approach we hope to break down perceived barriers to entry, as we continue to encourage more talented applicants of all backgrounds that Oxford can be, and is for them.”