Bosses at Cambridge University are helping first year students with their sex education – by handing out a record number of condoms.
The brightest young minds in Britain are entitled to free contraceptives to help them avoid STDs and unwanted pregnancies during their first year.
Incredibly, under a new pilot scheme the students are entitled to as many as a staggering 60 free condoms a week.
It means if all of the 3,500 freshers at Cambridge used their full allocation they would get through a whopping 10,920,000 condoms.
Officials are handing out free contraception packs as well as ‘condom cards,’ called C-Cards, which pupils can use to get hold of more.
For any enthusiastic students who use up their weekly 60-condom limit a selection of subsidised contraception is also available through the university.
Student welfare officer Chris Page, 21, who rolled out the pilot scheme said so far he had received an overwhelmingly “positive” response from students.
The English graduate from Sidney Sussex college said: “We have certainly bought a very high number of condoms – it’s a record.
“The scheme is completely anonymous. We scan the card when you pick up the packs but do not take people’s names, which is good for those who get embarrassed buying them.
“I hope the scheme will encourage students to take their C-Card with them every time they go out.
“In the few days of term we have had so far I have received a positive response from students. Lots of students are signed up.”
A freshers’ guide, published by Cambridge University Student Union (CUSU), includes a sexual health menu, offering packs of 12 condoms for £2, dental dams to protect women during oral sex for 80p each,
vegan condoms for 80p and sachets of lubricant for 10p.
Pregnancy tests and chlamydia tests are also being offered for free.
Bizarrely, the country’s cleverest students are also being made to have compulsory sex education lessons as part of an ultra-cautious approach by their colleges.
Nearly all of the colleges in Cambridge have included “welfare” chats as part of their induction programme, including Corpus Christi College which held “a light-hearted look at sexual health and welfare” last
Cambridge has an enviable record to uphold with no students being forced to abandon their degree through pregnancy in recent years, according university bosses.
Chris said: “We hope to show the university at the end of the year that the scheme has been successful and ask for more funding so we can also provide femidoms and dental dams for free.
“All the colleges have some form of welfare talks taking place, some of which are compulsory.
“Some students may find them patronising, but it is important to bring everyone up to speed. Students come to university having had a wide range of previous sexual experience.”
The Cambridge student union was granted around £5,000 of funding from the University budget to buy approximately 9,000 condoms for the pilot.
Packs of contraception are handed out to all freshers, who started arriving last Thursday and began lectures on Tuesday.
Each student then has a C-Card which they can use to top up their supply anonymously by swiping at collection points in colleges and the city’s main branch of Boots.
Each pack contains six condoms along with information about sexual health and each student is allowed to collect up to ten packs per week.
The C-Card scheme has already been successfully run by Cambridgeshire County Council for under 18s, before it was extended to Cambridge students with the extra funding.
A Cambridge University spokesman said the plan of action for students who fall pregnancy is a matter for individual colleges, although he had no recollection of a student falling pregnant over recent years.