Oxford’s students and staff come from every background imaginable. There are around 23,000 students from over 140 countries at Oxford, studying here as undergraduates and postgraduates. Their amazing range of stories and interests helps make Oxford one of the most exciting learning environments anywhere as well as one with extraordinary resources to offer its students.
There is universal agreement that Oxford needs to make more rapid progress in diversifying its undergraduate student body. Diversity is important as a social good in its own right, and it is manifestly in Oxford’s self-interest – for the University to continue to thrive, we need to recruit the best people from all backgrounds. Greater diversity will strengthen the University’s intellectual vitality.
Some groups are still under-represented in our university and we want this to change. We want to attract potential from wherever it is found, and to be a magnet for talent regionally, nationally and internationally.
We know that some of the most talented students in schools in the UK think of Oxford as out of reach, and many people have an inaccurate view of who studies here, what it costs, and what it is like. Outdated stereotypes can put off candidates from choosing a university they would enjoy and which would give them fantastic opportunities for the future. If great candidates don’t apply, we’re missing out, and we think they’re missing out too.
We’ve been making enormous efforts to explain Oxford to those who may not have thought it was for them, to show what we offer, and to encourage high-achieving students to apply. More and more people from the groups we have been working to attract have been applying here, and many are now studying here. We continue to take a number of actions to increase the pace of change, most recently expanding the number of participants on our very successful UNIQ summer school and removing financial barriers to attending admissions interviews by offering travel expenses to those students most in need of support.
We are also reviewing further changes to our outreach programmes, admissions processes and financial support packages to ensure that any student who has the talent and commitment to succeed as an undergraduate at Oxford has the opportunity to do just that.
These pages tell you about some of our initiatives, the things we’ll be doing in the future, and the progress we’re making. It focuses on undergraduate study. If you’re a potential candidate, or know of one, why not find out more and look at ox.ac.uk/study
There’s much more detail on this in the Annual Admissions Statistical Report available at ox.ac.uk/adstats
The University has access targets which form part of the Access and Participation Plan between the University of Oxford and the Office for Students. Our Access and Participation Plan is available to download.