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We are currently redeveloping the Realise Project. We are keen to ensure our interactions with and support of care experienced and estranged students are as effective and considered as possible. As such, we do not presently have many events planned. Please do sign up to one – or both – of our mailing lists so that we can keep you up to date with our progress.

Working with care leaver and estranged students pre-university

We want to attract the most academically able students to our University, regardless of their background. However, we recognise that not all students receive the same level of support, advice and guidance when preparing for, or applying to, university.

The Realise Project's aim is to ensure that care leaver and estranged students are fully supported, and to encourage more young people in care to consider higher education. We also offer a range of opportunities for young people in care to visit the University, to get a taste of what it's like to be a student at Cambridge.

The Foundation Year at Cambridge

If you want to study courses in the Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences and circumstances have prevented you from realising your academic potential, this is an opportunity not to miss!

The Cambridge Foundation Year is designed to help you realise your academic potential through a full-time course fully embedded in the University. In order to apply for the Cambridge Foundation Year, you must meet eligibility criteria – if you are care experienced, you will automatically be eligible for this opportunity!

Find out more information about the Foundation Year course on our website or sign up to our Student Newsletter and select “Foundation Year” as a subject of interest to receive detailed support from September 2021.

For any question you may have, please don’t hesitate to contact: or


Pre-16 events

Future events are yet to be confirmed but recent events have included:


The Stargazing event is aimed at young people aged 7-14 and consists of the following:

  • Tour and 'Introduction to University' workshop
  • A visit to the Astronomy department to explore the stars
  • University-focused games
  • A meal at a University College

Explore University

Explore University events are for young people from a care background aged 12-15 and are held during the school holidays. Participants visit the University for two days and engage with a range of university-related and subject-specific workshops, and other fun activities such as:

  • Workshops in sciences and arts subjects
  • College Tours
  • Student Life Activities
  • Museum Visits
  • Project Enterprise Lego Task
  • A meal at a University College

SuperStar Workshops

The Realise Team offers a series of one-day workshops, aimed at young people aged 7 to 11. These typically run from 10:00 to 15:30.

Post-16 events

Enrichment events at the University

If you are studying for your post-16 qualifications and are considering applying to a university like Cambridge or would like to find out more about a specific subject, the following events might be for you. For further support on exploring your subject beyond the curriculum, you may wish to refer to our HE+ website:

Further information

To cover the cost of travel to attend events at the University, we offer a Travel Fund to those aged 16 or above, who are currently in local authority care or from a care background. We also have an Interviewee Travel Fund scheme for applicants from a care background who have been invited to interview. See Open Day and Event Travel Fund for more information.

For all other enquiries, please contact the Realise Team (

Sign up to a Realise mailing list

To be kept up-to-date with the latest Realise events and opportunities, sign up to one of our mailing lists:

Cambridge life as a care leaver/estranged student

Contact Us

Advice and support for care leavers and estranged students:

The Realise Team
T 01223 333315