The University’s commitment to encouraging the best students to apply to Cambridge has received a boost with the appointment of Janet Graham and Sharon Warren.

Cambridge Admissions Office (CAO) is set to expand under the leadership of the new Head of the Admissions Office, Janet Graham.

"I am looking forward to working with colleagues to develop the admissions service; widening access by developing publications and web activities which raise aspirations and ensure that the University of Cambridge continues to recruit the best undergraduates."

She previously worked for 12 years at the University of Leicester, where she was Director of Admissions and Student Recruitment and Director of the Leicester and Leicestershire HEFCE Widening Participation to HE project. Janet will become the Secretary to the Joint Committee on Admissions and will work closely with Susan Stobbs, the Director of Admissions for the Colleges.

Sharon Warren has become the University's new Access Press Officer and will be responsible for getting the access message across to as wide an audience as possible and publicising key access initiatives such as the Sutton Trust Summer Schools, and the Oxbridge Conferences, held annually in the Spring. Sharon has a strong background in public relations and is looking forward to building her contacts within the University and among key education journalists.

"Cambridge has many excellent access initiatives, and I will be working hard to ensure that they receive the publicity they deserve," said Sharon.

This year 82 students from Further Education (FE) colleges around the UK, 22 of them mature students on access courses, took part in the University's first Sutton Trust summer schools to be specifically organised for FE students. These schools, organised by Sarah Barnsley, the FE Access Officer, are just two of the summer schools run by the University of Cambridge and individual colleges to encourage applications from groups which are, at present, under-represented at Cambridge.

Many FE colleges have no experience of sending students to Cambridge, so the summer schools were designed to dispel the myths that surround applying to Cambridge and to convey the message that students from all backgrounds can thrive at the University.

Michele Walton, 35, was one of 10 mature students attending the summer school from Bradford College.

"This was a fantastic opportunity and I was thrilled at the chance of going to Cambridge to see what life is like. I hope that it will also set a great example to my own children."

Photo: Left to right - Janet Graham and Sharon Warren
Photo by Nigel Luckhurst

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