The national picture for school attainment
In 2012, around 15% of white students taking A levels and applying to university through UCAS gained AAA or higher, and a similar proportion of BME students overall gained AAA or higher. Among Black students, 6% gained AAA or higher.
In numbers: more than 34,000 white students got three As or better at A-level in 2012, compared to nearly 7,100 BME students, of whom 946 were Black.
[Source: UCAS data]
The national picture for applications to Oxford
Of the more than 34,000 white students who got three As or better at A-level and applied to university through UCAS in 2012, around 26% applied to Oxford. Of the nearly 7,100 BME students who got three As or better at A level and applied to university through UCAS, around 27% applied to Oxford; 946 Black students got three As or better at A level and applied to university through UCAS, and 36% of them applied to Oxford.
As the table above shows, some ethnic groups had a lower success rate in the 2012 entry cycle than the average.
The University continues to explore possible reasons for the disparity in success rates. One contributory factor that has been explored is subject choice.
Reflecting a national pattern of university applications, BME students tend to apply disproportionately for many of the most oversubscribed courses. This contributes to (though does not wholly explain) the lower success rates for the group as a whole.