About the Shadowing Scheme

The Shadowing Scheme is the UK’s largest free student-led access initiative, which runs Sunday-Tuesday over three weeks for Year 12 (England & Wales), S5 (Scotland) and Year 13 (Northern Ireland) students at a state school. Shadows almost entirely come from WP (Widening Participation) backgrounds, including those who have no family or friends who have attended university; are eligible for free school meals; and are care experienced or estranged.

Our Impact

We're proud of the impact the Shadowing Scheme has had on prospective university applicants for over two decades. The scheme is evaluated each year to monitor impact, and we use the Higher Education Access Tracker (HEAT) to measure participants' progression into HE.


What is it like being a Mentor?

Mentors will spend about three days with their Shadow, showing them everyday life as a student, while attending contact hours with their Mentor. Living in Cambridge and ‘shadowing’ a student for 3 days gives an authentic sense of the community and everyday life at Cambridge. During this time, Mentors will be a Shadow’s primary insight into Cambridge life, answering questions honestly and providing information that they wished they had known as an applicant. Being a Mentor is a fantastic experience. You can meet new people, share your passion for your subject, and help make a real difference to a prospective student.

Everyone who signs up to be a Mentor will recieve a free enhanced DBS check and a certificated introduction to the safeguarding of young people. These look great on your CV and prepare you for any other mentoring or outreach work you might be interested in. If you have any questions email access@cambridgesu.co.uk.


Key Contacts and Links

General Enquiries: access@cambridgesu.co.uk

Safeguarding Leads: safeguarding@cambridgesu.co.uk

Incident Report Form and Scheme Policies: www.cambridgesu.co.uk/safeguarding 

Caredig ap Tomos, UG Access, Education and Participation Officer: caredig.aptomos@cambridgesu.co.uk

Frankie Kendal, Activities Coordinator (Access and Widening Participation): frankie.kendal@cambridgesu.co.uk