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Fall in state school intake at the University of Cambridge

The proportion of state school pupils accepted at the University of Cambridge dropped this academic year for the first time in a decade.
Undergraduate data published by the leading Russell Group university on Friday showed that 1,895 pupils from state schools joined, making up 72.6 percent of successful UK applicants. This marks a slight decrease from the previous year's 72.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the proportion of private school pupils enrolling at the university increased this year. A total of 716 pupils from UK private schools were accepted into undergraduate courses, comprising 27.4 percent of the intake, up from 27.1 percent in 2022-23. Although this represents a marginal widening of the attainment gap, it is the first time the proportion of state school admissions has fallen in a decade.

In 2013, the first year where comparable data is available, 61.4 percent of Cambridge undergraduate admissions were from state schools, with the figure growing steadily over the past decade. This year’s data suggest that the trend may be reversing, with the number of pupils enrolling from private schools rising for the first time since 2013.

A university spokesman said, “Any reading of our annual admissions statistics should be done by making appropriate comparisons. The last few years have been exceptional in view of A-level grading patterns. If you look back to pre-pandemic years and, in particular, the 2019 cycle, then we continue to make progress on a range of measures.”



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