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  • The college has welcomed its 2021 undergraduate freshers with a series of induction events – and then a group photograph taken in Old Court on the morning of Monday October 4th. The location moved from the Hall steps to outside Chapel because of the marquee which is still in place on the lawn, and older members will remember this as the traditional place for matriculation photos.

    Matriculation 2021

    The college is planning as much in-person activity as possible in the coming weeks, underlining Cambridge’s commitment to small group teaching – and a full range of societies and sporting activity. We are delighted that our new students are with us, and we wish them all the best in their studies.


    Photograph by Howard Beaumont.

  • The college has welcomed hundreds of people to events at Selwyn in September. This included the graduation day on September 11th, but the greatest number of people were attending reunions. The year groups recognised ranged from 2010 and 2011 – for their 10th anniversary get-together – right back to 1960 and 1961, who were marking 60 years since they matriculated. We also hosted alumni who have pledged a legacy to Selwyn at the 1882 Society lunch. Given the success of these events, we are aiming to run a full programme of reunions and meetings in the coming academic year. Please keep an eye on this website and on our social media accounts for the latest information.

    Attenders at the 10th anniversary reunion enjoying tea outside the new building
    Attenders at the 10th anniversary reunion enjoying tea outside the new building
    Drinks for the 1990, 1991, 2000 and 2001 year groups in Old Court
    Drinks for the 1990, 1991, 2000 and 2001 year groups in Old Court
    The master hosted pre-lunch drinks in his garden for the 60th anniversary gathering
    The master hosted pre-lunch drinks in his garden for the 60th anniversary gathering



  • The college is delighted to have hosted its second General Admission of the year – this time principally for the undergraduates whose degree ceremony was postponed in 2020.

    Graduation 2021

    Cambridge University was one of the first in the country to reintroduce in-person graduations, and the ceremony for this year’s undergraduates took place on schedule in July. On September 11th we were able to catch up with the students who had previously missed out, and Selwyn offered them a formal leaving dinner hosted by the Master and Fellows - and then a day when they and their families could celebrate their achievements.


    In the university Senate House there was a mix of some degrees being awarded in the usual way; but also some students being “congratulated” if they had previously taken their degree in absence. The ceremony was the same for all, except for a slightly different phrase in Latin!

    Graduation Procession

    Our photographs show the traditional graduands’ photo being taken in Old Court; then the procession making its way down West Road; and finally families and friends enjoying a picnic provided by the college.

    Graduation Party

  • Selwyn emeritus fellow Professor Sir Colin Humphreys has been awarded one of the premier medals by the Royal Society. They are the Society's most prestigious medals and recognise exceptional and outstanding science. The citation for his Royal Medal reads: “Sir Colin Humphreys CBE FREng FRS, for excelling in basic and applied science, university-industry collaboration, technology development and transfer, academic leadership, promotion of public understanding of science, and advising on science to public bodies.”

    Colin Humphreys is a materials scientist who has carried out valuable work on the electron microscopy of semiconducting materials. His world-leading research on gallium nitride (GaN) has resulted in a substantially improved understanding of this important material with a wide range of technological applications.

    We send him congratulations from the college for this recognition of his work. Read about all this year’s awards here:

    Professor Sir Colin Humphreys


  • Cambridge University has announced that around 72% of its incoming home undergraduates this autumn will be from state schools. This is a record number. Here at Selwyn the number is higher still, with 80% of new home students coming from the maintained sector.

    This is the position at the college as the admissions round comes to an end:

    We will have 121 undergraduates starting at Selwyn in October. This is our usual number, and there have been no deferrals or allocations to other colleges. It contrasts with 137 last year when we accepted a greater number of students due to a revision in A-level grades, but around 120 is our customary intake.

    The students have been selected from 734 initial applications, our second highest total ever, and from many others considered via the pool system. The successful candidates average 3 A* at A-Level or 44/45 marks in the IB.

    82% of the incoming students are from the UK, with the rest from overseas. We have met most of our widening participation targets, which means that the college attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds; and we will continue to work hard to make sure that Selwyn is open to everyone of high talent.

    Our congratulations to all the students who will be joining us. For anyone thinking of applying in future, all the information you need is here:


    If you are holding a conditional offer of a place at Selwyn College and have met all the conditions in your offer and have the grades required, congratulations!  We will contact you via email, and you will soon see your confirmation through UCAS Track. There is no need for you to contact us.

    If you have not quite met the offer, please be patient as we will be in touch with you once our decisions are finalised.

    If you are not holding an offer from us, we regret we cannot take an application at this time. Please do not contact the college.

    Selwyn College, like all the colleges of Cambridge University, does not participate in clearing.  If your examination results are much better than expected and you are not eligible for adjustment and you wish to try for a place at Cambridge, the only option is to apply in the next admissions cycle for entry in October 2022.

    There is more information from the University available here:

  • On Friday July 2nd the college held its first in-person graduation ceremony since the start of the pandemic. The University of Cambridge General Admission took place across four days, with students receiving their degrees in the Senate House. The Selwyn contingent formed the traditional procession from the college to the centre of the city, led by the head porter, master and praelector. Earlier in the week they were entertained to a graduation dinner, which this year was held in the marquee on Old Court lawn.  

    We offer our heartiest congratulations to all our new graduates. We’re looking forward to more in-person events during the course of the summer, including a delayed General Admission for the 2020 cohort on September 11th.

    Graduation 2021 Students Outside Hall StepsGraduation Students West Bye Lane ProcessionGraduate Students Outside Hall StepsGraduate Procession Kings Parade

    For more photographs please see our social media feeds.

  • The Selwyn College and University of Cambridge open days take place on July 8th and 9th.

    Open Day

    We've made a video which you can watch anytime and which introduces the college and its people to potential applicants. You’ll also see our beautiful site on the west side of Cambridge.


    The open days themselves will be online. Click here for all the details:


    There’s also all the information you might need on our undergraduate admissions page:

  • StaySafeCambridgeUni

    Please additionally see the COVID-19 documents page.

    The master Roger Mosey wrote to all students at Selwyn on September 22nd about the term ahead:

    "Dear all

    We’ve already welcomed a number of students back to the college – joining the small community that’s been here throughout the health emergency – and now we’re prepared for the full contingent of undergraduate and postgraduate students to arrive in the next couple of weeks. We’re delighted that the college is buzzing with activity again; but I have a very important message to share.

    If we are to continue through this academic year with the maximum activity and the minimum disruption, it will require all of us to live our lives as safely as possible. We must take the greatest possible care of ourselves as individuals, and also think continuously about our responsibilities to others. That applies to me as master, to the fellows and staff and to every single student. Only by doing so will we minimise the risks.  Looking after each other, a key part of Selwyn since its foundation, is now more important than ever.

    So please read thoroughly and carefully all the latest guidance. This gives an overview across Cambridge:

    And this section, as an example, explains one of the main ways we’re going to organise ourselves within colleges – by having student ‘households’ who are able to socialise safely with each other:

    As in other colleges, student households will be the foundation stone for living together at Selwyn. A household is defined by the sharing of kitchen and, where appropriate, bathroom/toilet facilities. In general this means that your household will be formed by the other students on the same landing as you in a staircase or those with whom you share a hostel kitchen. In a number of cases - staircases C to F in Old Court, ground floor of H, parts of J and K, ground floor and first floor of N, ground floor and first floor of P,  ground floor and first floor of Q, ground floor and first floor of R - students will be part of a household with others on the floor above/below. In Selwyn the smallest households consist of four students; the largest of 11. The vast majority include between six and eight students. Specific guidance on which students will make up your household will follow very shortly.

    Generally the university-wide advice is supplemented by a lot of detail that we have developed here within the college. We’ve been working with student and staff representatives – and taking the latest external advice – through the past months; and there is a full reopening plan that has been approved by the college council. Let me highlight three key points:

    • We have adopted a colour-coded status system to allow us to react quickly to national and local developments.  Any move to a new status will be agreed by the college council, which includes JCR and MCR representatives. A copy is attached.
    • We have also developed a student protocol to summarise the key things you can do to help everyone stay safe at Selwyn. It will be circulated later this week, along with more details about testing and isolation. Attached is the college social distancing and face coverings policy which is now in operation.
    • Along with most of Higher Education we have come to the view that we cannot responsibly allow overnight visitors in the college for the foreseeable future, because all the advice we receive is that this would significantly increase the risks to everyone and it wouldn’t be possible to operate safely and fairly within a household system.  

    While you will notice that a lot has changed here at Selwyn to keep everyone safe, a lot is also still the same. Provided national guidance continues to allow it, in-person small group teaching wherever possible will remain a cornerstone of our approach. We have put a marquee in Old Court and screens in the servery to make sure we can still offer sit-down meals; and college bar is open, with the marquee doubling up as extra social space in the evenings.  

    More will follow later this week. It's important to say that the guidance nationally and locally will change, sometimes at short notice. We will update you whenever it does. But the responsibility sits with each one of us to know what the college is asking of everyone, either because it is legally required or because it is best practice; and because of the seriousness of Covid, as a community we will not be able to tolerate any wilful breaking of the rules.

    Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your tutor or with the senior tutor, bursar, vice-master or me direct if you have any immediate questions. But in the meantime, despite these challenging times, a warm welcome whether you’re new here or returning; and I’ll look forward to seeing everyone again very soon.

    Roger Mosey"



  • The photograph shows students at a Selwyn matriculation in 2019


    A new enhanced bursary scheme is being launched by the University of Cambridge to support undergraduate students facing financial pressures. Over the next ten years, more than £100 million will be awarded to students across all the colleges including Selwyn. The additional funding, to help with living costs, will enable students to enjoy the benefits a Cambridge education offers, regardless of their personal financial circumstances. Students will start benefiting from October 2021.

    The new scheme is being made possible through the generosity of philanthropic donations from alumni and friends of the collegiate University. The Harding Challenge, established by David and Claudia Harding as part of their £100 million gift to Cambridge in February 2019, was designed to underpin this expansion in bursary provision. A number of donations to Selwyn have attracted matched funding from the Hardings.

    Far more students will qualify for support since the threshold for eligibility will rise from the current maximum household income of £42,620 to £62,215. The University expects 25 – 30% of students will be eligible for the enhanced support (currently it’s around 20%). Once fully rolled out, around 700 students will also qualify for an additional £1,000 because they were eligible for free school meals.

    UK students can apply to the Student Loans Company for a maintenance loan to cover basic living costs. There is widespread take-up of these loans: repayments are linked to future earnings which means they are more like a tax than conventional debt, and they are an invaluable support to making University more affordable for as many students as possible.  However, research conducted by the University suggests many students struggle to meet all their expenses because parents often can’t afford to contribute to the extent that these means-tested loans assume they will. It’s these financial gaps that the new bursary scheme will help to alleviate.

    Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, said:

    “This new enhanced bursary scheme, which wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of donors, will help to ease some of our students' financial worries. The scheme’s launch means far more students will be eligible for support. This is particularly relevant now, at a time when many families’ incomes have been affected adversely by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

    The launch of the enhanced bursary scheme follows a pilot scheme involving 20 colleges – including this one – and established and largely funded by Trinity College. Students in receipt of these bursaries said they were able to participate more fully in the academic and wider student activities Cambridge has to offer. The awards also had a positive impact on their mental well-being, reducing the anxieties they had about finances. Colleges also noted that there was a marked reduction in applications for hardship funding in-year. 

    Dr Mike Sewell, Senior Tutor of Selwyn College, said:

    “The enhanced bursary scheme targets support at students from families whose income is less than £60,000 a year. This removes barriers to such students coming to Cambridge and helps them to participate fully in University life. It not only makes it easier for them to thrive while studying here, it also relieves their families of significant concerns.”

    The University’s Faculty of Education has conducted research to find out how effective this level of support is for students. This found it contributes substantially to their wellbeing, participation in academic life and student societies, and overall student experience.

    Under the new scheme, bursaries of up to £3,500 per year will be given to students from households with an assessed income of up to £62,215, without any application needed. Previously students were given support if the assessed income rose to £42,620. The bursary will be tapered so those at the lower end will receive more. For example, all undergraduates from households with assessed incomes below £25,000 will receive the full amount. Those at the top end will receive £100. The amount they receive is a grant and so is non-repayable. Awards will be further enhanced for students who join the University from local authority care or who are estranged from their families. In addition, the scheme will include a supplementary award of £1,000 per year to all low-income students who qualified for free school meals, contributing to a bursary of £4,500 in each year of their undergraduate studies.

    The photograph shows students at a Selwyn matriculation in 2019.