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Department of Engineering

Supporting high-achieving black students

Supporting high-achieving black students

Undergraduates via Target Oxbridge (L to R): Timi Sotire, Bez Adeosun, Michael Harvey (Engineering), Daniel Oluboyede, Leah Grant and Fopé Jegede.

The University is sponsoring Target Oxbridge, a free programme which aims to increase successful undergraduate applications from black students.

Anyone with the right attitude can achieve and excel here. My advice for people thinking of applying would be to put in the work because the rewards are more than worth it.

Michael Harvey, Engineering student

Target Oxbridge provides 16–18 year old black African and Caribbean students with positive role models and practical advice. The development programme runs over the course of a year and involves residential visits and academic sessions. When they visit Cambridge, participants will have an immersive experience of life at the university, including taking part in tutorials and meeting both staff and current students.

Since 2012, 46 Target Oxbridge students have already gone on to receive offers from the two universities. Eleven former participants are currently studying at Cambridge and have welcomed the new sponsorship.

The University’s support, alongside Oxford’s, will help Target Oxbridge to expand its places from 45 to 60 in 2018, double the number available in 2016.

The programme is run by Rare, a specialist diversity recruitment company, and its patron is Cambridge alumna, Zadie Smith, who has previously said: “Going to Cambridge changed my life. Nothing I have done would have been possible without it. I want more people from backgrounds like mine to have that life-changing experience. That's what Target Oxbridge is about”.

Jon Beard, Cambridge’s Head of Undergraduate Recruitment, said: “We’re delighted to be strengthening our relationship with Rare through our sponsorship of Target Oxbridge, and look forward to welcoming to Cambridge more of the high-achieving aspirational black students that the programme supports. The University and the Colleges are committed to widening participation by raising aspirations and attainment. Working with partners including the Sutton Trust, The Brilliant Club and Target Oxbridge is an important part of our approach.”

Michael Harvey, an Engineering student at Homerton College, said: "Coming from a background in which you weren't expected to study at a place like Cambridge and then making it here gives a constant feeling of accomplishment. To know that you're working among some of the best thinkers of the future, to know you're at that level and to be encouraged to push even further is great. Once you're here the sky is really the limit, anything is achievable.

"It may seem a daunting task to get in from the outside, but anyone with the right attitude can achieve and excel here. My advice for people thinking of applying would be to put in the work because the rewards are more than worth it."

Find out more about Cambridge’s Widening Participation programmes.

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