Downing College is committed to encouraging bright students from all backgrounds to consider applying to university. Our work with schools and colleges seeks to promote educational opportunities and raise aspirations. In particular, we seek to encourage people whose families or schools have little experience of higher education to consider applying to Cambridge and other universities.

As part of the University of Cambridge Area Links Scheme, Downing works particularly (but not exclusively) with maintained sector schools and colleges in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset. The College organises a series of visits and events throughout the year for students in Years 9-13. The map below shows all of the 100+ schools and colleges we have engaged with in some way since January 2013. If your school is missing, we’d love to add you – please have a look at the visits and events we offer.

Downing employs a full time School and College Liaison Officer, Jess Lister, to maintain and develop the Schools Liaison Project launched in 2000. Jess graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2017 having studied History at nearby Emmanuel College. Before coming to Cambridge, she attended a mixed comprehensive school in East Yorkshire before progressing to her local FE college, and experienced the benefits of the University’s access work first-hand as a Sixth Form student. Jess is responsible for working closely with prospective applicants and their schools to provide information and dispel myths surrounding Cambridge life, study, and admissions.

Please visit our contact page to get in touch with Jess regarding upcoming visits and events or our outreach work, or if you have any questions about admissions, life or study at Cambridge.