Cambridge University bursaries boost students’ academic performance and reduce anxiety, study finds


Students from families whose social unit financial gain is £25,000 or less mechanically receive a non-repayable annual treasury of £3,500 at Cambridge. Students United Nations agency don't seem to be addicted to their folks (including people who area unit estranged) get a better treasury of up to £5,600 a year and conjointly the likelihood to remain in Cambridge year-round .

They told researchers from the school of Education that while not it, they might have struggled to get hold of books, rent and even food while not getting rid of any loans.

One of the key findings of the study was that this support offered required to be publicised a lot of clearly since some recipients had been unaware of it before applying. As a crucial consider students’ selection of university, act the supply of the treasury might boost efforts to widen access to Cambridge.

The Cambridge treasury theme allocates £6.8million a year in bursaries to financially underprivileged students. of these United Nations agency received a treasury, eighty seven same support created them feel less anxious, ninetieth same it helped them specialize in their studies and seventy four same it helped them have a work-life balance.

It conjointly helped alleviate issues around being a burden on their families – whose ‘hidden contribution’ to school funding has return underneath increasing public scrutiny. One student interviewed for the study same having a treasury was “a large relief not solely off my shoulders however off my folks’ as well” whereas another commented: “I most likely would are ready to pay [my study costs] with the assistance of my parents however it might be terribly troublesome for them…they weren't positive concerning successive four years’ employment; it might be risky, a troublesome call for U.S.A..”

Many noted that it helped them overcome fears they wouldn’t slot in at Cambridge, with one student commenting: “The indisputable fact that the university was willing to speculate in funds to create positive that folks like Maine might return to school created Maine feel less nervous concerning applying and fewer nervous concerning fitting in socially similarly.”

Students used their bursaries to hide food and living prices and ‘one-off’ purchases like a laptop, specialist instrumentality, specific editions of books, new garments, shoes, or a bicycle. Some saved cash for course-related travel, with one interviewee’s outing forming a big a part of their chosen thesis topic.

Researchers compared students’ views gained through surveys associate degreed interviews with an analysis of information associated with drop-out rates, category of degrees awarded and graduate employment, employing a methodology developed by education regulator the workplace for college students.

Students from lower income households outperform peers



This found students from households with very cheap declared incomes perform a minimum of still, if not higher, than peers from better-off families.

In addition, students with a full exchequer UN agency came from colleges traditionally under-represented at Cambridge or those from comparatively low-performing colleges performed still academically as those from households with higher incomes.

More than ninety six of scholars end their degrees at Cambridge, and researchers found there was no correlation between drop-out rates and socio-economic backgrounds. a minimum of eighty fifth of exchequer recipients were in graduate jobs or additional study six months when going university.

Co-author of the study Dr Sonia Ilie, Senior analysis Fellow at the school of Education and Hughes Hall, said: “Fair access to pedagogy isn't almost entry: across the world there's concern that lower socio-economic backgrounds mustn't be related to lower outcomes or lower completion rates, which students ought to be supported to form the foremost of their expertise during a means that sees any monetary barriers fall away.

“Across all of our analyses we have a tendency to found proof that broadly, the Cambridge exchequer theme operates as supposed, with only a few, if any, variations in outcomes by students’ economic background.

“There remains work to be done, though, and we’re enterprise analysis to grasp the impact of various levels of economic support, and build additional proof concerning however the present system will be improved.”

Financial support needs 'advertising boost

Students interviewed by researchers listed the resource on the market at the University of Cambridge as among the explanations they applied. However, four-hundredth admitted not knowing if they'd be eligible for it once applying.

They suggested raising the profile of the resource on the market at Cambridge by providing clearer and additional accessible info.

Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor prof Graham Virgo: “Cambridge is committed to fairness in its admissions processes and to providing A level enjoying field for its students once they're here.

“By bridging the gaps in student finances fully fledged by those coming back from households with low incomes, our bursaries facilitate everybody to urge the foremost out of a Cambridge education.

“However, this report offers USA a transparent message, that is that if additional students from low-income households knew what quantity resource was on the market at Cambridge, additional would apply.

“This are some things we'll be viewing as a matter of urgency.

“We don't need anyone UN agency has the power and drive to thrive here to rule out Cambridge on the idea of value.”

They suggested raising the profile of the resource on the market at Cambridge by providing clearer and additional accessible info.

Jesus school Fellow and prof of Education Pakistani monetary unit Vignoles provided support to the researchers: "This report provides valuable proof on the effectiveness of the Cambridge treasury theme, associated is a component of wider University efforts to require an proof based mostly approach to additional development of their policies during this space.

"We currently have to be compelled to calculate the most effective approach of belongings potential students apprehend that this support is out there.” 

The Cambridge Bursary


Bursaries ar awarded to students from households with AN financial gain between £25,000 and £42,620 on a scale connected to their unit financial gain.

Some students will access up to £5,600 a year if they're classed as financially freelance, which incorporates care leavers, mature students and freelance students.



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