Want to help with Downing Access?

Downing runs many Widening Participation events in College to encourage school students to apply to the College. The best way to keep up to date with the current events is to sign up to the Access mailing list by emailing the college Access Officer at We’ll email out various opportunities throughout the year to get involved in – these could be as easy as hour-long tours of the college (with food included if you participate over lunch!), open days taking place in Easter Term, or other opportunities further afield.

Other ways to get involved include:

  • Signing up for the CUSU Shadowing Scheme in Michaelmas, to allow current year 12s to experience undergraduate life for a couple of days in early Lent Term.
  • Joining the CUSU Ask-A-Student Facebook group to answer questions from current undergraduates.
  • Second years and above have the opportunity to apply to become CAMbassadors, paid roles assisting in Access Events for the University as a whole.

Want to visit a school back home?

Visiting your old school, or other schools in your area, is particularly useful as it is the most direct way of getting prospective students into contact with a current undergraduate. If you’d like to find out if there are any schools in your area send the Access Officer an email we can discuss what schools might be most in need of a visit.

At the moment, CUSU has good resources, including Powerpoints, available for such visits under its Target Schools scheme. Downing-specific resources are planned to be created and uploaded to this page during Summer 2014.

After you’ve visited, if you send the Access Officer an email detailing where you visited, what you did, and any contact details for the school, there is a chance that College will be able to refund any reasonable travel expenses.

Another page you might want to keep an eye on for participating at home is your regional CUSU Access Group. These allow Access Officers, Admissions Tutors, and Schools Liaison Officers from across Cambridge to request assistance for access events in their ‘Target Area’. Downing’s Target Area is Southwest England, so any students from this region are particularly encouraged to get involved with Downing Access!