Disadvantage | University of Oxford

Disadvantage

This page focuses on the backgrounds of UK-domiciled students who apply to Oxford, are made offers, and are admitted. The figures relate to differing levels of socio-economic advantage and progression to higher education across the UK, and are derived from the ACORN and POLAR demographic systems.

ACORN is a postcode-based tool that categorises the UK’s population by level of socio-economic advantage. POLAR is a similar tool that measures how likely young people are to participate in higher education based on where they live. The ACORN and POLAR systems are widely recognised measures used by the regulator to set admissions targets for universities including Oxford.

These systems are explained in more detail in Undergraduate Admissions Statistics - Notes and definitions

University-level data

The tables below show the number of applications, offers and students admitted from the two most socio-economically disadvantaged groups (ACORN categories 4 and 5) and the two groups of young people least likely to progress to higher education (POLAR quintiles 1 and 2).

  • In 2017, 10.6% of UK students admitted to Oxford came from the two most socio-economically disadvantaged groups (ACORN categories 4 and 56). This is an increase of almost four percentage points from 2013.

Socio-economic disadvantage: UK applications to Oxford, offers made and students admitted from ACORN categories 4 and 56, 2013–2017

 ApplicationsOffersStudents admittedACORN 4 and 5 Proportion of total UK students admitted7
20171,66034926910.6%
20161,3512722168.2%
20151,3512522218.6%
20141,2862882419.3%
20131,0702041796.8%
  • In 2017, 12.9% of UK students admitted to Oxford were from the two groups with lowest progression to higher education (POLAR quintiles 1 and 2). This is an increase of more than three percentage points from 2013.

Areas of low progression to higher education: UK applications to Oxford, offers made and students admitted from POLAR quintiles 1 and 2, 2013–2017

 ApplicationsOffersStudents admittedPOLAR 1 and 2 Proportion of total UK students admitted7
20171,70240532412.9%
20161,49935229911.4%
20151,45932227910.8%
20141,44631226210.2%
20131,3192742519.5%

5. POLAR classification is periodically reviewed; POLAR3 classification is used throughout the Annual Admissions Statistical Report.
6. This data includes ACORN Category 4 – Financially Stretched (excluding Type 34 – Student flats and halls of residence) and ACORN Category 5 – Urban Adversity.
7. Excluding students whose ACORN/POLAR status is not known.

Context

Breakdown of students who achieve AAA or better at A-level by socio-economic group (all UK universities, 2015 UK intake)*

section 3.1

Oxford University (2017 UK intake)**

section 3.2

*Most recent available national data covers 2015 intake: defined as first-year, first-degree, UK-domiciled undergraduate students, academic year 2015/16. AAA+ pool includes equivalent Scottish qualifications. Excludes those whose ACORN status is not known. Excludes Type 34 from ACORN category 4 – Type 34 appears in ‘other ACORN categories’. See note on HESA data for full citation.

Breakdown of students who achieve AAA or better at A-level, by areas with different likelihood of progression to higher education (all UK universities, 2015 UK intake)*

section 3.3

Oxford University (2017 UK intake)**

section 3.4

*Most recent available national data covers 2015 intake: defined as first-year, first-degree, UK-domiciled undergraduate students, academic year 2015/16. AAA+ pool includes equivalent Scottish qualifications. Excludes those whose ACORN status is not known. Excludes Type 34 from ACORN category 4 – Type 34 appears in ‘other ACORN categories’. See note on HESA data for full citation.

**Excluding students whose ACORN/POLAR status is not known.

For further information on all Oxford's admissions statistics, including by course and by college, please read the Annual Admissions Statistical Report.

You may also be interested to see detailed statistics relating to disadvantage, and information on the household income of applicants

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