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Record number of BME students received places in 2022 as EU and overall applications fall

According to Oxford’s newest admissions report, for the first time in at least five years, the overall number of applications to Oxford has decreased, while many minority groups have seen record numbers of offers.

Oxford received an all time high of 24,338 applications in 2021, and received about 500 less applications in 2022 with an overall offer rate of 15.3%. However, the offer rate can vary significantly. Overall, UK applicants are more than twice as likely than international applicants to receive an offer. Applicants for Music, the most undersubscribed course, are more than 13 times more likely to receive an offer than applicants for Mathematics and Statistics, the most oversubscribed course.

By Region

Following a 29% drop in 2021, the number of EU applicants dropped another 20% to its lowest point in at least 5 years. Meanwhile, the number of admitted non-EU international students reached record numbers, increasing by over 11%. Within international applicants, Singaporeans are more than two times as likely than Americans and nearly four times more likely than Indians to secure an offer. 

Just shy of half of UK offers were to students from London or the South East, which was proportionate to the number of applications.

By Ethnicity

BME students make up a record proportion of admitted students, reaching 27.8% compared to merely 18.3% just five years ago. The proportion of ethnic minority students in Oxford is now similar to those seen across UK universities. However, the offer rate for BME students remains almost 5 percentage points lower than for White students.

By Disability

Oxford admitted a record number of students declaring a disability in 2022, handing out 15% more offers than last year. 11.5% of offers went to students who declared a disability, though this is still lower than the UK-wide and Russell Group average. The most commonly declared disability was a learning disability, which includes dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD.

By School

The proportion of state school students admitted in 2022 remains essentially stable, making up 68.1% of admitted students, compared to 68.2% last year. The admissions rate for independent school applicants remains higher than for state school applicants.

Independent school students are still overrepresented at Oxford by over 50% relative to the share of students achieving AAA or better at A-level that attend an independent school. Independent school students are also overrepresented in admitted students by over 100% relative to the share of age 16+ students attending independent school.

By Course

STEM courses continue to be the most over-subscribed. The lowest offer rates were for Mathematics and Statistics (3.8%), Economics & Management (5.5%), and Computer Science (6.1%), while the highest offer rates were for Music (51.7%), Classics and Modern Languages (45.5%), and Modern Languages and Linguistics (44.3%). 

The Oxford courses that received the most applicants in the 2022 admissions cycle were PPE (1,997), Mathematics (1,883), and Medicine (1,864).

By College

Univ (8%), Magdalen (8%), and St John’s (9%) were the most oversubscribed colleges, while applicants to St Peter’s (16%), Harris Manchester (16%) and Permanent Private Halls (25%) were more than twice as likely to receive a place at their college of choice. 

The college that accepted the highest proportion of re-allocated students was Harris Manchester (65%), while far-out colleges, St Hilda’s and St Hugh’s had 53% and 49% respectively. The lowest proportions of re-allocated students were at Magdalen (6%), New (10%), and Worcester (10%).

Overall remarks

Vice Chancellor, Prof Irene Tracey, commented on the results, saying “it is encouraging to see that steady progress continues to be made to ensure that those with the highest academic potential, from all backgrounds, can realise their aspirations to study here – despite admissions continuing to be increasingly competitive.”. She added that programs will continue to be implemented to ensure that Oxford students “reflect the UK’s diversity in many respects” and “motivate bright students to realise their academic potential and aspirations” at Oxford. 

Read the full report here.

Graphics and additional reporting by Maggie Wilcox.

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