Widening access: Admissions Report 2021

11th May 2021

News, Student news, Alumni news

Oxford’s undergraduate admissions report, published today, shows that Wadham continues to make progress in attracting an increasingly diverse undergraduate student population.

  • Wadham students

The report also demonstrates the Covid-19 pandemic has not affected the University’s continued progress in widening access for undergraduate students.

Across the university as a whole, the proportion of incoming students from state schools rose to a record 68.6% in 2020. More than 70% of Wadham offers for 2021 entry are to state school students.

The proportion of incoming students identifying as Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) rose to 23.6% across the University, 28% for Wadham. 

The proportion of female undergraduates admitted continues to rise steadily; they made up 54.2% of all those admitted by the University in 2020. Here at Wadham women received 63% of all offers made in January for 2021 entry.

Warden Ken Macdonald QC commented: "I’m delighted with the progress our College continues to make in attracting the brightest young people from the widest variety of backgrounds. The diversity of Wadham’s student body continues to be a source of great pride here."

Now in its fourth year of publication, the Oxford undergraduate admissions report reveals that Oxford continues to attract students from all backgrounds.

In response to concern across the sector that the method chosen to award A-level grades last year might negatively impact young people from under-represented backgrounds, particularly those who had been adversely affected by the pandemic crisis, the University worked hard to support students affected.

As a result, in 2020 Oxford admitted around 300 more students than usual, and the incoming undergraduate student-body included a greater proportion of students from a state school background than ever before, with more than 68.4% (1,899) of new UK-domiciled undergraduates attending from state schools – an increase of more than 6% on the previous year’s admissions of 62.3% (1,557).

The report also shows that more students of Black, Asian and ethnic minority heritage are being admitted to the University than ever before, representing 23.6% of Oxford’s UK intake – up from 22% in the previous year. 

Wadham has worked hard to reshape its outreach and access activities for online audiences in the face of COVID-19 restrictions, ensuring that as many people from disadvantaged backgrounds could access them. The College is supporting a number of access initiatives running across the collegiate University. These include seven ‘Opportunity Oxford’ offers, whereby offer-holders from backgrounds historically under-represented at Oxford attend a two-week summer school immediately prior to taking up their places. There they receive subject-specific study skill advice to help them thrive when they start their degrees.

Professor Louise Richardson, Vice Chancellor at the University of Oxford, said: “While the pandemic has, in many ways, changed the way we operate, it has not weakened our commitment to diversifying the make-up of our student body.”

“Notwithstanding all the adjustments and adaptations required by the pandemic we remain committed to ensuring that every talented, academically driven pupil in the country, wherever they come from, sees Oxford as a place for them.”

Wadham’s Access to Excellence programme continues to support young people from all backgrounds and the results are documented in Wadham’s annual Access Impact Reports: https://www.wadham.ox.ac.uk/alumni/access-to-excellence/access-and-outreach--evaluation

The Undergraduate Admissions Statistical Report 2021 can be found here: https://www.ox.ac.uk/about/facts-and-figures/admissions-statistics/undergraduate-students/current

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