Detailed admissions statistics for 2013-17 are published by the University

Date 23 May 2018

On 23 May the University published its Annual Report on Access and Admissions for undergraduates, over a five-year period from 2013 to 2017.

The statistics are broken down into chapters covering overall application numbers, nationality and country of residence, UK region, disadvantage, school type, gender, ethnicity and disability. The report also includes information for each of the colleges and for the 25 largest courses, aggregated for the three years 2015-17. (This aggregation prevents small yearly figures giving an inaccurate or misleading picture.)

Across the University
Overall, the report tells a story of progress for UK students from under-represented backgrounds applying to Oxford in the five years from 2013 to 2017:

  • The proportion from state schools has increased from 56.8% to 58.2%.
  • The proportion identifying as Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) has risen from 13.9% to 17.9%.
  • The proportion from socio-economically disadvantaged areas rose from 6.8% to 10.6%.
  • The proportion from areas of low progression to higher education rose from 9.5% to 12.9%.
  • The proportion declaring a disability rose from 5.6% to 7.7%.
  • The mix of men and women has fluctuated, with men outnumbering women in most years but more women admitted than men in 2017.  

At St John's
Inspire programmeAt St John’s we’re committed to admitting students of the highest academic potential, regardless of their background, and supporting them to succeed here. We welcome diversity in our student body, and are proud that our students do indeed come from a richly diverse mix of backgrounds. There is always more to be done to ensure that the brightest students make successful applications to the university, and the College has a strong sense of purpose in striving to increase the proportion of UK undergraduates from groups traditionally under-represented at Oxford.

The statistics in the report show that St John’s work in this area has produced some encouraging results.

Womens football teamIn 2015-17, 58.8% of the UK-based undergraduates we admitted were from state schools. In 2017, 28% of the undergraduates admitted were from overseas or from special or language/arts schools in the UK. Many countries are represented in our student body; in 2017 we made 136 offers for undergraduate places which included students of 22 different nationalities. Over the past five years, we have been closing the gap between the success rate of applicants from state vs independent schools, so that in 2017 the state school success rate for applicants who applied directly to St John’s was 25% and the independent schools success rate 26%. From other schools and overseas it was 18%, well above the university average of 11%. St John’s is proud of the progress that has been made in ensuring that if excellent candidates apply to the College and we are unable to place them, they are considered for places at other colleges in accordance with the Common Framework.

Socio-economic disadvantage
In 2015-17, the proportion of students admitted to College from ACORN categories 4 and 5 (a postcode-based tool to show areas of socio-economic disadvantage) was 12.3%, well above the university average of 9.1% for those three years. The proportion of students from POLAR quintiles 1 and 2 (areas of low progression to higher education) was 13.8%, in the context of a university average of 11.7% for those years.

Gender and ethnicity
In 2015-17, 51.3% of our undergraduate admissions were women, against the university average of 48.8% for those years. The proportion of BME students was 17.2%; the university average was 16.1% for those years.

Support at St John's
Once our students arrive, we want to support them and help them thrive, not only in their studies but also in their personal development. Their welfare is our priority, and we have dedicated Fellows for Welfare, for Women, for Ethnic Minorities and for Equality. Social gatherings such as International Evening dinners, and one-to-one meetings, provide regular support, enhanced by equality and diversity training for staff.

Financially, a range of bursaries and scholarships support students who need them, while grants are available for all students for buying books and equipment, and for travel. In the vacations we can also provide financial support to enable students to take up internships and work experience placements, valuable preparation for their future careers. Our reasonably priced accommodation, available for all years of undergraduate study, protects students from the high rental costs in the city of Oxford.

Access and outreach
Inspire Twilight March 18Key to our success in attracting students from groups traditionally under-represented at Oxford is our Access and Outreach programme. We work with schools in our link regions of Ealing and Harrow, Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex, regularly hosting groups of pupils and their teachers in College for days which may include academic taster sessions, tours of the College, or an Oxbridge Information session to assist with the application process. Members of the Access team visit schools in our target regions to provide information, advice and guidance on applying to highly selective universities. An annual student roadshow takes the story directly to them, through our wonderful team of student ambassadors.

Our Teachers Study Week take place each summer in College. Typically 20-30 teachers from the state sector come to Oxford to research a subject of their choice that contributes to their professional development. During this time the teachers have an opportunity to experience student life in Oxford as they stay in student accommodation, eat in the dining hall and make use of the extensive library facilities. Where possible, the teachers can meet the tutors working in a similar subject area. 

Inspire Year 10 Subject Exploration DayOur Inspire Programme was launched in 2017 as a new initiative focused on our two London boroughs. It is a carefully structured programme that takes students from Years 9 to 13 in non-selective state schools through the process of developing their academic aspirations, challenging and informing themselves, and growing in confidence so they can make effective applications to top universities like Oxford. Typical activities include: academic talks from current Oxford tutors; a 4-day summer school at College which includes an opportunity to present a research project of their choice; workshops for teachers to guide their pupils through the university application process; study skills sessions; aspiration days; subjection exploration activities. 

We are developing an evaluation programme for our outreach initiatives, to ensure they have maximum impact where they are most needed, and while there is still much to do we are continually working hard to develop our work in this area, and to reinforce the message that the University of Oxford is open to talented young people regardless of their background.

Find out more about the Annual Report on Access and Admissions 
Find out more about our Inspire Programme
Find out more about our work with schools