Today the University of Oxford is publishing its third Annual Admissions Statistical Report, drawing together data about undergraduate admissions for the University as a whole, and for individual colleges and subjects. The report presents undergraduate admissions statistics for Oxford over five admissions cycles between 2015 and 2019 and some data on national context for Oxford’s data on UK student admissions. There is also aggregated data by college and course for the years 2017-2019.

A summary of the Report is available on the homepage of the University website or by clicking here

The University publishes this information to increase transparency around the makeup of the undergraduate body at Oxford, and to inform and engage people about who studies at Oxford and where they come from.

The latest report indicates real progress, in terms of students admitted, for UK students from under-represented backgrounds applying to Oxford between 2015 and 2019:

  • The proportion from state schools has increased from 55.6% to 62.3%.
  • The proportion identifying as Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) has risen from 14.5% to 22.1%.
  • The proportion from socio-economically disadvantaged areas rose from 8.6% to 12.2%.
  • The proportion from areas of low progression to higher education rose from 10.8% to 14%.
  • The proportion declaring a disability rose from 6.9% to 9.4%.
  • The proportion of women rose from 47.5% to 55.4%.

Jesus College is committed to maintaining excellent academic standards. To achieve this we need a diverse student body, representative of the wide distribution of academic abilities and potential in society. We are proud of our Access work, which upholds and reflects our values of inclusivity, equality, diversity and opportunity for all. We reach out to work with schools with little or no Oxbridge experience and encourage applications from those with the potential, regardless of background. We were one of the first colleges to recruit a School Liaison Officer in 2000 and then went on to appoint our first Access Fellow in 2014.

School students at summer school
Participants of our 2019 summer school.

We have invested time and resources to increasing the diversity of our intake, especially in terms of relative socioeconomic disadvantage, minority ethnicities, under-represented UK regions, and women in STEM degrees. This investment has yielded positive results:

  • In 2013, 8.7% of UK undergraduates at Jesus College were BAME; the figure in 2019 had increased to 18.9%.
  • In 2017-19, 20.5% of UK students admitted to Jesus College were BAME, up from 15.5% for the years 2016-18.
  • In 2019, 16% of our students declared a disability, compared with 9% in 2013.

Our access work focuses on equipping young people from under-represented backgrounds with the information, resources and motivation to make competitive applications. In the academic year 2018-19 we met with 9,145 young people (a 25% increase on the previous year), the vast majority of whom came from target backgrounds. 68% came from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.

We had a 21% success rate of applicants from a widening participation (WP) background for admissions for 2019 entry, against a 15% success rate for non-WP applicants. In 2017-19 our admission rates for widening participation candidates was higher than the University average.

Besides these raw statistics, our work has several strategic components:

  • We work with well-established providers of excellent access work. Our collaborators include organisations such as The Brilliant Club, IntoUniversity, the Seren Network, and Target Oxbridge
  • We offer innovative and impactful contacts with target students, such as our Women in Sciences taster days, which attract over 200 participants.
  • In 2017 we had our first annual Seren Summer School. This is now a 75-person summer school for the Welsh Government’s Seren Network. The summer school’s value in raising aspiration and inspiring confidence was recognised by the generous £1 million endowment. This was celebrated with a visit by Prince Charles to the College who met visiting Welsh school pupils.
  • In 2019, we piloted a summer school in collaboration with Universify Education. This was targeted at disadvantaged Londoners in year 10 at school. The first year catered to 20 young people, and this will expand to 30 in 2020.
  • In 2018 we set up a hub school in Blaenau Gwent to work more closely with younger students in one of the most economically deprived counties in Wales. This was followed in 2019 by two more hub schools in Newport and Camberwell.
  • In 2020 Jesus College was given responsibility by the University of Oxford for delivering school access programmes across all regions of Wales. This is an exciting development and an extension of the support we previously offered to regions in South Wales.
  • In 2019 we piloted our first open day for mature students.
  • In 2020, Jesus College began leading a consortium of Colleges, with the University, to tackle sustained under-representation of British Muslims in general, and British Bangladeshi and Pakistani students in particular. A mass survey of current students is underway, with targeted schools and community outreach projects to be delivered from Autumn 2020.
  • In June 2020 we held a Forum on Race and Education hosted by Samira Ahmed. You can watch it here. There will be more such online events in the coming months around various themes of interest to pupils, teachers as well as the wider public.
  • In 2020 the entrepreneur and education philanthropist, Thomas Ilube CBE FRSA FBCS, was made an honorary fellow of the College. Amongst many activities he founded the Hammersmith Academy and is the chair and founder of the African Gifted Foundation, which launched the African Science Academy, Africa's first all-girls science and maths academy. Tom will join our Equality and Diversity Committee and we look forward to engaging him in our Access activities.
  • We recognise that the HE participation gap for underrepresented groups does not begin or have influence solely from the secondary stage of education. It is important to engage learners from a young age so that institutions such as Oxford are perceived as familiar and achievable early on. Therefore, since 2018 we have increased our work with primary schools and offer age-appropriate experiences to these age groups as we would for secondary and FE pupils.
  • We have expanded our human resources, hiring a full-time access assistant to support our Access Team. We also have more students engaged with our access work.

In all, we are conscious that the University of Oxford does not accurately represent British society, and that this does us harm. We are committed to increasing diversity at the College, but appreciate that there are complex and multi-faceted reasons as to why certain groups are under-represented. In response to these challenges we can only offer partial solutions and need to continue collaborating with governments at local and national levels, with schools, and with third-sector providers of education services.