Cambridge Higher Aspirations Scheme

Now in its fourth year, the Cambridge Higher Aspirations Scheme (CHAS) is open to Year 12 students at state schools in Caius' link areas of Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Barnet, Bexley, Bromley, Lewisham, Newham and Waltham Forest.

CHAS is a sustained scheme that offers academic support and enrichment for Year 12 students, giving you the opportunity to take part in a series of six academic supervisions, summer application sessions, and a selective residential during summer.

2024's 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 & 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.

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

The scheme was launched in November 2020 in collaboration with Norfolk County Council. The sustained scheme reached 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.

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