Oxford Annual Admissions Report Released
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FROM THE WARDEN
Annual Admissions Statistical Report, May 2020
The annual admissions report is a very valuable tool in guiding the work of the Admissions Committee and our Outreach team. The 2020 report highlights: an improvement in our gender statistics; continued improvement against Acorn/Polar targets; and an overall ethnicity profile in line with the University.
Previous reports gave us concern in relation to a gender imbalance, with a relatively low level of female students admitted. Whilst we felt this was a blip rather than a trend,we were acutely conscious of it as an issue, and we are pleased that of our 2020 offers, 56% were awarded to females and 46% to males. Our offer rate for female applicants was 17.3% and for male applicants 15.7%.
The Office for Students and University’s Access and Participation Plan use postcode data to identify target groups for increasing access. Applicants from the least socio-economically advantaged postcode areas are in Acorn categories 4 and 5, and those from areas with the lowest progression to higher education are in Polar quintiles 1 and 2. These groups influence our targeted Outreach Strategy, especially in terms of the selection of schools in our Step Up programme. In this period, Acorn 4 and 5 comprised 12.8% of 2020 offer holders, a marked increase from 2017/19. Our offer rate in 2020 for applicants from Acorn 4 and 5 postcodes was 22.9%, compared to the University offer rate of 21.4%. In 2017/19, 13.2% of our admitted students were from Polar quintiles 1/2, marginally below the University average of 13.3%. For 2020, 15.2% of our offer holders are from these quintiles: we wish to increase this going forward.
Our proportion of applications from state schools is currently 58%, which, while growing steadily, and not a University target in itself), does not represent where we want to be. To this end, we are committed to the Opportunity Oxford scheme, which we hope to engage with significantly expanded numbers. This is also a core strategy for increasing our proportion of students from Polar 1 and Acorn 4 and 5 postcodes. Also, having held a University responsibility for Northern Ireland for many years (and still continuing with the Northern Ireland summer school), we are pleased that, following discussion with the University, there is now an agreement in our participation in a major consortium/ region on the mainland, which gives us more direct scope in recruitment.
The proportion of admitted UK BME students identifying as BME is 19.3%, compared to the University’s 19.4%.The college has recently enhanced its offer in relation to Islamic students, with the opening of a dedicated prayer room, and other Halal provisions. However, in this overall picture, we remain anxious about our low number of Black British applications. While our offer rate compares well with white students (40% to 27%), the absolute number of applicants remains too few. This is something which we have been
2. spending time and effort on, but results are slow. We are pleased to support Target Oxbridge, a programme which assists students of Black African and Caribbean heritage in achieving places at Oxford and Cambridge. There are more encouraging signs of this going forward. In addition, a whole range of other recruitment and welcoming actions and activities are being implemented as part of the work of the college’s BAME working party.