Cambridge Higher Aspirations Scheme

[Open to students from state schools in: Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Barnet, Bexley, Bromley, Lewisham, Newham and Waltham Forest.]

In November 2020, Gonville and Caius launched (in collaboration with Norfolk County Council) a new Cambridge Higher Aspirations Scheme, a sustained programme for around 150 year 12 students from state schools across Norfolk. The programme was so successful that, in 2022-23, the third year of the scheme, it was extended beyond Norfolk to over 300 students across all of Caius’ link areas. This expansion continues into 2023-24, as we now launch the fourth year of CHAS.

This year, CHAS will continue to offer academic support and enrichment for Year 12 students, giving you opportunity to take part in a series of six academic supervisions, summer application sessions, and a selective residential during summer.

The supervisions will take place between January and March, with the first supervision being in-person at Cambridge, giving you the opportunity to see the college and experience a small part of student life. Supervisors will set work to be completed before each supervision, ready for discussion during the supervision. The supervision dates this year are:

  • 20th January 2024 (in-person at Cambridge)
  • 30th January 2024 (online)
  • 6th February 2024 (online)
  • 20th February 2024 (online)
  • 5th March 2024 (online)
  • 19th March 2024 (online)

Following the supervisions, we will offer you guidance and support sessions focussed on making your Cambridge application, covering personal statements, admissions assessments, and understanding the application process.

During summer, there will then be an opportunity to take part in a 1-night residential at Gonville and Caius. Spaces for the residential are limited, and in order to be considered for this residential, you must:

  • Attend four out of the possible six supervisions.
  • Engage with and attempt the work that is set by supervisors.
  • Be able to attend both days of the residential.

At the end of the residential, there will also be a celebration event for all students that attended at least four out of the possible six supervisions, and engaged systematically with supervision work. Parents/supporters will also be invited to this event! Eligible students can attend the residential and/or the celebration event.

CHAS is completely free to participate in. The only eligibility requirement is that you study at a state school in Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Barnet, Bexley, Bromley, Lewisham, Newham, or Waltham Forest.

A sign-up link for the scheme should come through your school, but if you haven't received anything by early October, please get in touch with us on

The scheme was made possible by a generous bequest from a Caius alumnus. For more information, see here, or email us.

Watch the video below to learn more about the scheme, from our 2020-21 celebration event.