1. Application resources
  2. >
  3. BME Applicants

BME Applicants

This page specifically relates to BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) applicants. These resources include relevant access programmes, and international and cultural societies.


Experiences of BME students at Cambridge video πŸ”— 🌟 This video, produced by the University, interviews BME students about their experiences of Cambridge. They discuss their perceptions of the university before applying, and how this differs to their actual experiences.

Blog post by a Cambridge alumna πŸ”— A great article summarising why BME students should apply to Cambridge, drawing on the writer’s own experience.

BME-specific access programmes

It is important to note that many access schemes target under-represented groups more generally. While this includes BME applicants, these schemes haven't been included on this page. Information on other access schemes run by Cambridge is available on the widening participation πŸ”— section of the university website.

Target Oxbridge πŸ”— 🌟 This free programme aims to help students with black African and Caribbean heritage increase their chances of being offered a place at Oxford or Cambridge. The programme includes a tailored series of critical theory discussions; one-to-one mentoring; structured interview preparation sessions; and visits to both universities.

For the upcoming academic year, the Cambridge University Student Union (CUSU) BME campaign are launching a new academic mentorship programme for incoming BME students. If they wish, first-year BME students will be matched with an older student studying the same subject, who they will be able to turn to for academic advice.

CamSpire BPA scheme πŸ”— 🌟 A new initiative run by Cambridge University Students' Union (CUSU), offering Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Arab (BPA) students the chance to experience student life at Cambridge. The programme includes online mentoring with current BPA students; an interview workshop; and a free residential event.

Stormzy Scholarship πŸ”— Every year, Stormzy offers two scholarships to black UK students who have a confirmed place at Cambridge. The funding, which doesn't have to be repaid, covers the full cost of tuition fees and provides a yearly maintenance grant for the duration of the students' course.

Many colleges host BME open days throughout the year, typically featuring workshops and tours run by current BME students. This page will be updated when new events are announced. For an example of what the events may involve, take a look at the recent King’s College BME open day πŸ”— and Catz and Queens' BME Q&A Sessions πŸ”— Both events were run online this year, including Q&As with admissions tutors; virtual college tours; and panels for sciences and humanities students.

YouTube videos

One of the most easily-accessible resources is YouTube. Several BME students at Cambridge share their experiences through informative and realistic videos and vlogs which provide a helpful (and often entertaining!) insight into life at the university.

Courtney Daniella: What is it like to be a black student at Cambridge? πŸ”— 🌟 Student YouTuber Courtney talks candidly to other BME students about their experiences at Cambridge. They discuss workloads, extracurriculars and diversity.

IbzMo πŸ”— Recent Cambridge graduate IbzMo has posted videos throughout his time at Cambridge. He studied Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS) in his first year, before switching to Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (PBS) for the remainder of his degree.

Chiedza Matsvai πŸ”— Cambridge student Chiedza posts vlogs on her YouTube channel, β€˜That’s What Chi Said’.

Day in the life of a Muslim student πŸ”— This video follows Newnham College student Zainab during a typical day in her life, providing a useful insight into student life at Cambridge.

George the Poet speaking at King’s College πŸ”— As part of the annual BME open day at King’s College in 2018, Cambridge alumnus George the Poet led an empowerment session for prospective applicants.

Societies in Cambridge

Every college in Cambridge elects a BME officer as part of the college students’ union. These students work to promote and address BME representation within the college community, including organising taster days for potential BME applicants; running social events for BME students; and ensuring religious provisions are in place.

CUSU BME campaign πŸ”— 🌟 On a university-wide scale, the Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) runs a BME campaign to voice the concerns of and improve the educational and social environment for ethnic minority students. They host events including intercollegiate BME quiz nights and discussion panels.

CUSU international societies πŸ”— This list contains all the international societies existing in Cambridge, from East Africa to Southeast Asia!

Cambridge African Caribbean Society πŸ”— Open to every student of African and Caribbean descent, and those interested in learning about African and Caribbean culture. CUACS prides themselves on their commitment to education, empowerment and entertainment, as well as providing a friendly community for members. You could also contact them directly by emailing [email protected]

Oxford African Caribbean Society πŸ”— OxACS runs numerous initiatives to support prospective applicants, including a mentorship scheme and annual admissions workshops. Feel free to contact them on [email protected] to learn more about these opportunities.

Islamic Society πŸ”— ISoc was created to serve the social, spiritual and academic needs of Muslim students. The result is a vibrant and inclusive society which is based on mutual beliefs and strengthened by friendship. In particular, check out these subject guides πŸ”— 🌟 produced by ISoc members, which include recommendations and advice for applicants and incoming students.

Black Cantabs project πŸ”— This project, run by current students and alumni, aims to uncover and preserve the legacies of Black alumni. They aim to celebrate and normalize diversity, while creating a strong community of past and present students.

FLY πŸ”— 🌟 A network for female and non-binary people of colour at Cambridge. They host weekly meetings and also run a blog compiled by current students. In particular, have a look at the FLY guide to Cambridge πŸ”— 🌟 which contains advice from students from a variety of subjects and backgrounds.

SOAR πŸ”— The male counterpart to FLY, SOAR is a forum aimed at stimulating intellectual discussion between males of the BME community within the Cambridge University network.

Other resources

Target Oxbridge podcast πŸ”— 🌟 This podcast features interviews with students who previously participated in the Target Oxbridge programme. They discuss their experiences and advice for applications.

Taking Up Space πŸ”— Written by Cambridge graduates Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi, this book and accompanying website features honest conversations with past and present students to explore what β€˜inclusion’ and β€˜diversity’ truly mean for young black women. In particular, check out the reading lists πŸ”— 🌟 they have compiled for each subject, focusing on decolonising university curricula and promoting the works of black authors. This interview with the author πŸ”— explains some of the book’s aims further.

BME women in STEM panel πŸ”— The transcript of a panel discussion held by Cambridge Association for Women in Science and Engineering about BME women in STEM. Female researchers with different heritages discuss their journeys to scientific careers and to Cambridge specifically.

It is I, a feedback box