Oxford University has announced that more than 69% of undergraduate offers have been made to students attending state schools. The increase of 4.6% is the “best percentage increase the University has ever seen.”
30.9% of offers were made to students from independent schools; this is over 12% higher than the 18% of students who attend independent sixth forms, according to the Sutton Trust (2018), and dramatically higher than the 7% of all UK students attending independent schools.
78% of offers were made to UK applicants, 7% to EU applicants and 15% to Overseas applicants. The University specifies that ‘UK applicants are more likely to receive an offer.’
The University was unable to provide a breakdown of the split between Grammar, Comprehensive, Academy and other forms of state schools as they do not currently collect that data. The data on the inter-state school split is not published in the University’s annual data report either, however the May 2019 access report published by the University highlighted that ‘In 2018, 11.3% of UK students admitted to Oxford came from the two most socioeconomically disadvantaged groups (ACORN categories 4 and 56).’
Oxford’s successful UNIQ programme has led to 250 students being made offers this year. The offer rate to students who attended UNIQ programmes is 33.6%, in contrast to the offer rate of 21.5% across UK applicants. The increase in offers to UNIQ participants comes after the expansion of the scheme last year, which saw more than 1,350 pupils take part in the programme – an increase of 50%. This is the largest number of UNIQ participants to receive offers in the programme’s history, thanks to the dramatic development in 2019.
This year, Students from POLAR4 quintile 1 accounted for 6.4% of UK offers – up by 1.4%. These students represent the areas with the lowest progression to higher education.
Dr Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at Oxford, said: “We are delighted by this record number of offers to state school students, and to students from under-represented backgrounds. This creates a strong foundation for what we aim to achieve. We know that students from some backgrounds are not as well-represented at Oxford as they should be, and we are determined that this should change. Having taught in state schools during my career, I know the wealth of talent that lies there. We wish the students every success in their studies, and hope they flourish at Oxford.”
The number of offers made to young people from areas with the lowest progression rates to higher education have increased. Students from POLAR4 quintile 1 accounted for 6.4% of UK offers – up by 1.4% from 2019 offers.
In 2015 the University made 56.7% of their offers to students from state schools. Across the past five years, there has been an increase of 12.4% in state school offers. This comes after pioneering Oxford schemes have taken place, from the UNIQ programmes to Lady Margaret Hall’s Foundation Year and University College’s bridging scheme. It also coincides with the University’s formation of the Foundation Oxford and Opportunity Oxford schemes.
Opportunity Oxford launched at the end of the previous academic year, and this week more than 100 candidates from under-represented backgrounds received offers to study as a part of the scheme. Dr Andrew Bell, Coordinator of Oppertunity Oxford and University College Senior Tutor, has stated:
“Opportunity Oxford is a major new initiative to increase the number of offers made to UK students from under-represented backgrounds, and to provide academic support to those students to ensure that they have the best possible start to their university careers. This year, more than 100 offers have been made under the scheme across 28 colleges. We anticipate making 200 offers per year under the scheme from 2022 onwards. We’re really excited to have launched Opportunity Oxford, and we very much look forward to welcoming our first cohort to Oxford later this year.”
This article was updated at 20:02 15.1.20 to clarify POLAR.
Further clarification was made at 00:11, 16.1.19 concerning Opportunity Oxford.