St Catharine's College congratulate admissions rejects

8 March 2012

St Catharine’s College has sent an email congratulating students on receiving a place at Cambridge to applicants they had previously turned down.

The email, which begins “Congratulations on receiving an offer to come to St Catharine’s”, was sent to the wrong distribution list by an admissions tutor so all rather than only successful applicants were contacted.

The mistake has caused offence among rejected applicants and their families. The father of one student who had hoped to study medicine criticised the blunder as “unprofessional” and continued, “to send out a blanket email in this way and give false hope to young people who are in the middle of their A-levels…I know everyone makes mistakes, but you expect a bit better from Cambridge.”

The email linked its recipients to the “Information for offer holders” page on the St Catharine’s website which contains details of accommodation choices and tuition fees, as well as a timetable for the lead-up to students’ arrival in October.

Cambridge student, Jess Robertson, commented: “I feel so sorry for all of those students. It’s such a shame that a simple administrative error can upset so many people.” Chris Logan, the Male-Welfare Officer at King’s described the situation as “very unfortunate” but added that “it’s obviously not something that the college meant to do and the fact that this doesn’t happen regularly shows that people are taking care of applicants’ feelings.”

A spokesperson for Cambridge University acknowledged and apologised for the “error”, noting that “this was quickly resolved and an apology was immediately sent”, and continued: “We deal with large volumes of decisions and it is rare for an error to be made.”

Alice Moore – Deputy News Editor