There were 650 Londoners in last year’s fresher intakeLouis Ashworth

London and the South East have tightened their grip over Cambridge’s undergraduate intake, with an increased proportion of last year’s freshers coming from the two regions.

Graphic by Varsity | Source: University of Cambridge

New undergraduate admissions statistics, which were released in Easter term, show that a quarter of UK entrants to Cambridge last October came from Greater London, and over a fifth from South East England – making them the two most successful of England’s nine official regions for admissions to the University. Overseas students made up 24.2% of acceptances, an increase from the previous two years.

Certain high-performing schools in London continued to contribute a large proportion of Cambridge freshers from the capital. The independent Westminster School and the state grammar Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet tied for the highest total number of entrants, with 27 apiece. St. Paul’s Girls’ School sent 25 of its students to Cambridge, while its male-only counterpart, St Paul’s School, sent 22.

Closer to home, Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, which is widely regarded as one of the best state sixth forms in the country, saw 27 of its pupils apply successfully to Cambridge. The Perse School, an independent school on the same road, had 17 successful applicants.


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The new statistics showed an increase in the proportion of acceptances from maintained schools, which rose to 62.5%. The proportion of admissions from the areas of lowest participation in higher education (POLAR1 and POLAR2) rose from 9% to 10.5%, meaning Cambridge met the first milestone of the admissions target it struck with the Office for Fair Access last year.

The lowest number of acceptances were for Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh students. As well as having a low number of applicants, Scotland and Wales had the lowest acceptance rates out of any UK region. Lower applications from these regions may be partially a result of the comparative travel distance to Cambridge, and also by Scottish students being offered free university education in their own country