Graduating students

In the first year Cambridge has offered Adjustment places, 67 students from around the UK who did not originally get into Cambridge saw their dream of a world-class education come true after achieving stunning A-level results.

"We hope that more disadvantaged students will make an application to Cambridge in future years with the knowledge that this route will also be available to them."

Dr Sam Lucy, Director of Admissions for the Cambridge Colleges

The UCAS system of Adjustment provides students with a second chance of getting on to their first-choice course.

Adjustment is an optional process that allows students who have met and exceeded the terms of the conditional offer that they are holding to refer themselves for consideration by another institution.

Seventy one students from under-represented backgrounds who referred themselves for consideration on A-level results day (15 August) were offered places on courses from English to Computer Science, and 67 accepted. Seventeen medics got places through Adjustment, while others will study Economics, Engineering, Law and Natural Sciences.

City & Islington College student Kaan Evcimen will be studying Natural Sciences at Trinity Hall after gaining his place through Adjustment. He said: "Getting into Cambridge was simply a dream, which is now somehow reality - I'm super grateful for the opportunity and I'm excited to get started with studying the subject I love at the best university in the world."

Nikodem Czarlinski, who received 4 A*s - in Maths, Further Maths, Physics, and Chemistry - after studying at The Priory Academy LSST in Lincoln, will arrive at Trinity College in October to study Engineering. He said: "My parents have always supported me and they taught me the value of hard work. Adjustment felt like a second chance and I kept the possibility in the back of my mind right through my exams. My family and my teachers were all very happy when I told them I’d got the place to study at Cambridge."

Katie Yuan will read Economics at Murray Edwards College after receiving 4 A* in Maths, Further Maths, Geography and Economics, and is the first pupil from Whitley Academy in Coventry to study at Cambridge. "I didn't tell my parents that I might be able to get a place through Adjustment, and I only told one of my teachers, so everyone was so surprised. Adjustment is a fantastic idea - it opens up the door for lots of people from lots of backgrounds. Cambridge is the best place in the world to study and I'm so happy I'm not going to miss out on that opportunity."

Zein Al-Hindawi, who attended the Al-Sadiq Islamic School in Brondesbury Park, London, and achieved three A*s at A-level, said: “Some students might decide not apply to Cambridge because they think they have no chance of getting in. The truth is you just need to work really hard and ignore the stereotypes.”

Bhasvic College Portslade student Alessandro Mashat Mettry, who moved to the UK to take his GCSEs, admits: “When I was growing up in Italy I’d never heard of Cambridge, but when I got A*s and As at GCSE I started thinking maybe I’ll try for it.”

The four A* student admits to being inspired by reading Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, adding:  “I thought if this man got inspired this way by being at Cambridge, I want to be inspired there too.”

Cowes Enterprise College student Mimi Poulton, who got three A*s at A-level, had an unconditional offer from another university when she was told of her eligibility for Adjustment at Cambridge. “It was very motivational,” she says.

And Sara Renmiu, who took her A-levels at Ashcroft Technology Academy in Putney, London, admits the chance of an Adjustment place drove her to study even harder. “I did not have tutors or help outside of class – when the lessons ended it was up to me to do all the extra work to get the grades for Cambridge, but because I loved the course there so much it was worth it.”

Dr Sam Lucy, Director of Admissions for the Cambridge Colleges, said: “When we announced the Adjustment scheme, we received many emails from students saying the second chance of a place at Cambridge was inspiring them to work even harder to achieve the best A-level results they could.

"It is wonderful to see that so many who may not have managed to show their full academic potential during the main Admissions round have gone on to excel at A-level due to their hard work and determination.”

She added: “We are delighted to have been able to offer so many of them a place at Cambridge in the pilot year of Adjustment and hope that more disadvantaged students will make an application to Cambridge in future years with the knowledge that this route will also be available to them.”

Each student who applied under the Adjustment scheme had to meet at least three criteria (known as ‘contextual flags’) demonstrating they have not had the same educational advantages as others.

Competition for Cambridge’s approximate 3,500 undergraduate places grows fiercer each year, with more than 14,000 students who apply not being made an offer.

Adjustment is the latest in a series of schemes aimed at boosting diversity, with generous financial assistance available through the Cambridge Bursary Scheme and via Colleges' bursaries, a Bridging Programme being introduced at Corpus Christi College next year and a University-wide Transition Year programme set to launch in 2022.

Creative Commons License
The text in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Images, including our videos, are Copyright ©University of Cambridge and licensors/contributors as identified.  All rights reserved. We make our image and video content available in a number of ways – as here, on our main website under its Terms and conditions, and on a range of channels including social media that permit your use and sharing of our content under their respective Terms.