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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


In 2023, ICE boosted its support for prospective students and applicants by expanding its enrolment team making the enrolments process clearer and quicker for our learners.

A welcoming one-stop shop for all applicants For 150 years,

ICE’s mission has been to widen participation, and the enduring belief that everyone should have access to higher education has driven the Institute to set up a new, full-time Enrolment team.

After lots of behind-the-scenes work – from designing a strategy to recruiting staff – a key moment came in the run up to the 2023-24 academic year, when the newly expanded team opened its communication lines to prospective undergraduate students for the first time.

The new team hopes to provide a one-stop shop for all potential applicants, providing reassurance, guidance and confidence throughout the application process and supporting them right up until they enrol. They’re available to help anyone, from those with questions about which course is best for them or how parttime learning works, to anyone in need of further information about a specific programme.

And ICE is particularly keen to provide a welcoming, inclusive and valuable experience to adults who are looking to learn for the first time or return to higher education after a break, especially those who don’t see themselves reflected in a traditional learning environment or wouldn’t otherwise be able to study at the University of Cambridge.

Help with questions of finance, readiness to learn and wellbeing

Widening access for adult learners, including those with limited or no experience of higher education, isn’t only about course related queries: money and health are often barriers to study. So, if someone has questions about funding support, the enrolment team can chat through things like the eligibility criteria for the many different bursaries available. Similarly, if a student has a disability, health issue or any additional learning needs, the advisors can support with introductions to ICE’s Welfare and Disability teams.

Once learners are ready to apply, the team can provide guidance on completing their course applications and writing a strong personal statement. Even after submission, including once prospective students receive a decision about their applications, ICE’s enrolment team is still available to answer any questions or offer advice on next steps.

Looking ahead to 2024.

After a busy first enrolment period, the team is currently taking time to evaluate its maiden year together, reviewing feedback and looking ahead to 2024. In a spirit of continuous improvement, the Institute is keen to understand how prospective students experience the application process and what else the team can do to support applicants.

That process is likely to see the team extend their expertise to even more areas in time for next year’s enrolment peak, with several exciting developments already being discussed. In the meantime, the team would like any potentially hesitant applicants to know that they shouldn’t be shy about asking questions; they are ready to listen, whether that’s via the contact us page on the website, email or phone call. They look forward to connecting with you this year!


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