Abigail MeadowJanuary 16th
2020

Oxford University has announced that the majority of its undergraduate places next year have been awarded to state school applicants.

This week Oxford announced that 69% of its places were given to students from state schools or colleges for courses starting in October 2020.

Five years ago just 56% of undergraduate places were offered to state school applicants while 43% went to those who were educated at independent schools, despite a large imbalance in the numbers applying.

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MPs have continually criticised the university for ignoring qualified state-educated applicants, especially those from black or disadvantaged backgrounds.

However, since 2015 Oxford has changed its application system, pressing colleges to improve their recruitment and outreach - a move that was backed by the university's first female Vice Chancellor in 2016.

Since then the university has expanded its efforts and outreach to colleges and schools with little to no applicants.

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Last year, the university announced a new foundation year scheme and committed to boosting its undergraduate intake from under-represented backgrounds from 15% to 25% by 2023.

The proportion of British students from black minority and ethnic backgrounds rose from 18% to 22% for the intake of October 2019 undergraduates.

Samina Khan, director of undergraduate admissions and outreach at Oxford, said: “We are delighted by the 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.

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“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.”

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