ScienceApply_22
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Good day everyone!

I was just looking at the admissions statistics for Cambridge Engineering and I was wondering why the number of acceptances are often only around half of the number of offers. What causes this decrease between offer and acceptance rates?

Thanks in advance!
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BlueEyedGirl_
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(Original post by ScienceApply_22)
Good day everyone!

I was just looking at the admissions statistics for Cambridge Engineering and I was wondering why the number of acceptances are often only around half of the number of offers. What causes this decrease between offer and acceptance rates?

Thanks in advance!
I’m no expert on this but a few ideas are:

Not everyone who gets an offer will take it up and will instead firm/insure other universities
People may get an offer and then miss their grades and not get accepted
People may get an offer and then decide to not go to university and decline before starting

Just some general theories
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sweeneyrod
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(Original post by ScienceApply_22)
Good day everyone!

I was just looking at the admissions statistics for Cambridge Engineering and I was wondering why the number of acceptances are often only around half of the number of offers. What causes this decrease between offer and acceptance rates?

Thanks in advance!
Where are you getting those stats from? According to this it looks like there are usually ~20% more offers than acceptances. Not sure how much of the difference is people taking offers from other unis vs failing to achieve the grades.
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ScienceApply_22
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(Original post by sweeneyrod)
Where are you getting those stats from? According to this it looks like there are usually ~20% more offers than acceptances. Not sure how much of the difference is people taking offers from other unis vs failing to achieve the grades.
I'm also using the statistics on this website: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....ply/statistics
For a few colleges the number of acceptances compared to the number of offers are sometimes only around ~50%. For example Christ's College
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sweeneyrod
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(Original post by ScienceApply_22)
I'm also using the statistics on this website: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....ply/statistics
For a few colleges the number of acceptances compared to the number of offers are sometimes only around ~50%. For example Christ's College
I think that the difference between Christ's and other colleges will be that they set offers involving STEP. Peterhouse also do that but for whatever reason the difference there seems to be smaller.
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Scotney
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Cambridge are well known to over offer with very high entrance requirements.
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sweeneyrod
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(Original post by Scotney)
Cambridge are well known to over offer with very high entrance requirements.
Not really, for subjects other than maths. I expect they over offer a lot less than most unis, since it will be less common for people not to take their offers.
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Scotney
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(Original post by sweeneyrod)
Not really, for subjects other than maths. I expect they over offer a lot less than most unis, since it will be less common for people not to take their offers.

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Oh without doubt but the difference being most people who get the grades will accept their Cambridge offer.
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R T
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Some students would rather study at Imperial, or perhaps Universities with a heavier practical focus than the Cambridge course. Oxbridge is good, but it's not unanimously considered the best for all subjects, and Engineering is certainly a subject where there are a lot of other excellent Universities.

It's also worth noting that Cambridge Engineering does not specialise quickly. So if you truly only have an interest in one area and don't like the thought of studying another, that's a pretty big reason to reject the offer. e.g. You want to do Aerospace and definitely don't want to do Electrical.
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mnot
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(Original post by ScienceApply_22)
Good day everyone!

I was just looking at the admissions statistics for Cambridge Engineering and I was wondering why the number of acceptances are often only around half of the number of offers. What causes this decrease between offer and acceptance rates?

Thanks in advance!
2 main reasons.

1) yield. Not everyone who receives an offer firms them. Most unis factor this in to how many offers they give out. Obviously at Cambridge this will be lower then most but still exist.
2) percent will still miss their offers. Achieving straight a*/a’s is no easy task even if they fo hold a Cambridge offer.
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davros
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(Original post by R T)
It's also worth noting that Cambridge Engineering does not specialise quickly. So if you truly only have an interest in one area and don't like the thought of studying another, that's a pretty big reason to reject the offer. e.g. You want to do Aerospace and definitely don't want to do Electrical.
I'm curious - if you had that concern, why would you make Cambridge one of your choices in the first place?
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mnot
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(Original post by davros)
I'm curious - if you had that concern, why would you make Cambridge one of your choices in the first place?
I could see people apply to it as a backup in-case they don't get an offer from Imperial but still want the academic prestige.

The other thing is you learn a lot at in the interim period between applying and picking their firm choice and as they learn more they think a more traditional engineering degree (i.e a focus on one discipline is what they want). (I think they'll also be some students who apply, get in then decide they'd rather go to a very reputable engineering uni with a bit more social life and slightly less intense course).
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davros
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(Original post by mnot)
I could see people apply to it as a backup in-case they don't get an offer from Imperial but still want the academic prestige.

The other thing is you learn a lot at in the interim period between applying and picking their firm choice and as they learn more they think a more traditional engineering degree (i.e a focus on one discipline is what they want). (I think they'll also be some students who apply, get in then decide they'd rather go to a very reputable engineering uni with a bit more social life and slightly less intense course).
I did wonder if that could be the reason, but then it seems like a slightly 'dangerous' tactic - you could miss other offers and find yourself committed to a 3 or 4 year degree that was essentially unsuitable for your needs.

Perhaps I was just being naive - I rather thought potential engineers would start off thinking "do I want an essentially academic degree, or do I want something with an applied / industrial focus?"
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mnot
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(Original post by davros)
I did wonder if that could be the reason, but then it seems like a slightly 'dangerous' tactic - you could miss other offers and find yourself committed to a 3 or 4 year degree that was essentially unsuitable for your needs.

Perhaps I was just being naive - I rather thought potential engineers would start off thinking "do I want an essentially academic degree, or do I want something with an applied / industrial focus?"
I think the reality is if your getting into Imperial or Oxbridge your getting into your other 3 choices. There are lots of great high academic level industry focused courses (Unis that come to mind: Southampton, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Bath, Loughborough, Nottingham, Bristol...).

But the thing with these unis is whilst still excellent are no where near as competitive, basically entry is dictated if you the grades or not so if you are an A*AA student you can basically take your pick outside of Oxbridge and Imperial (and even if you slip there's a very good chance you'll get offered a BEng, then you can go and move back onto the MEng whilst your at the uni.)

EDIT: so the actual risk of not getting into uni isnt too bad. And even if you got ABB (so a very hard drop from Oxbridge tier, you would easily find a decent course in clearing in less than an hour so would be in the same spot if you had been more conservative and only gotten into your insurance).
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R T
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(Original post by davros)
I'm curious - if you had that concern, why would you make Cambridge one of your choices in the first place?
I'd agree that on paper its silly, but people with good grades seem to end up being forced or heavily encouraged to apply to Oxbridge anyway. In practice I'd hope that the actual course structure (and Engineering is certainly one where the experience would be very different at certain places - not only doing a broader course but also if you wanted to experience a year in industry) would be a larger determining factor than what people around the applicant view as relative "prestige".
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davros
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(Original post by R T)
I'd agree that on paper its silly, but people with good grades seem to end up being forced or heavily encouraged to apply to Oxbridge anyway. In practice I'd hope that the actual course structure (and Engineering is certainly one where the experience would be very different at certain places - not only doing a broader course but also if you wanted to experience a year in industry) would be a larger determining factor than what people around the applicant view as relative "prestige".
That was my reason for querying it.

I mean, it's a long time since I had to worry about university applications, and Engineering isn't my subject, but whereas I can understand for Maths that it would be unfair to expect an A level student to know in advance whether they're going to prefer Analysis over Linear Algebra (or Applied over Pure generally in the uni maths sense) I would expect today's clued-up, career conscious candidates to be looking very closely at the course structure of something like Engineering - where the very name conjures up images of hands-on work to the layman - when making a decision on applications.

And yes, I see far too many instances (on here especially) where students are given the advice "why not try for Cambridge, you've got the grades, it's only one choice out of five" etc when they don't really have an intense passion for the subject and may not thrive in that environment. Although to be fair I've also seen respected sources on here cautioning against the Cambridge Engineering tripos
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