Widening Participation

Downing College is committed to encouraging bright students from all backgrounds to apply to university. Our work with schools and colleges seeks to promote educational opportunities and raise aspirations. In particular, we seek to encourage people whose families or schools have little experience of higher education to consider applying to Cambridge and other universities. Our full time School and College Liaison Officer is available to give advice and guidance throughout the year at access@dow.cam.ac.uk

Area Links Scheme

As part of the University of Cambridge Area Links Scheme, Downing works particularly (but not exclusively) with maintained sector schools and colleges in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset. The College organises a series of visits and events for students in Years 9-13. We can also facilitate individual school visits, and arrange sessions for teachers and careers advisors. We also put on events in Cambridge open to students from across the UK. Past examples include our English and MML Taster Day, and our BAME Conferences, aimed at supporting black, asian and minority ethnic students   The latest outreach opportunities across the collegiate university are advertised on our website We would also recommend visiting the Oxford and Cambridge Collaborative Outreach Network pages.

Discover Downing is our dedicated outreach and widening participation website aimed at prospective applicants, as well as schools and teaching staff. Here you can find:

If you are a current teacher in one of our area link regions below, you can request a visit using our Visit to Cambridge form. Downing College works particularly with schools, sixth forms, colleges and groups supporting young people in: 

  • Cornwall
  • Devon
  • Plymouth
  • Torbay
  • Dorset
  • Bournemouth
  • Poole

For teachers or students attending schools in Plymouth, find out about our new Inspire2Involve partnership with social mobility charity Villiers Park.

Click on the image below to access the Discover Downing website:

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You can email our School and College Liaison Officer with any questions.

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