Ethnicity

This page sets out what is known about the ethnicity of UK-domiciled applicants to Oxford. 5.2% of UK-domiciled applicants (2,139 students between 2018 and 2020) choose not to declare their ethnicity in their UCAS application. It is therefore not possible to make any statements in relation to their ethnicity and admissions status, and for that reason they have not been included in the tables below.

UK-domiciled Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) students include those who indicate in their UCAS application that they identify as Black (including African, Caribbean and other Black background), Asian (including Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani, Chinese and other Asian background), Mixed Heritage (including White & Asian, White & Black African, White & Black Caribbean and other Mixed background), Arab or any other ethnicity except White.

Context

The following graphics provide context for Oxford’s figures, showing the BME share of the England and Wales population, the A-level achievement of BME students, and the proportion of BME students in different parts of the UK university sector.

Note: Figures for the 2018/19 academic year (2018 intake) are the most recent available from HESA and have therefore been used in these graphics. The most recent figures available for Oxford are for the 2020/21 academic year (2020 intake).

England and Wales population now aged 18 to 24*

Bar chart showing: England and Wales population now aged 18 to 24*, White 80.6 %, BME 19.4%

Breakdown of students achieving AAA or better at A-level by ethnicity (all UK universities, 2018 UK intake)**

Bar chart showing: White 77.4% 26,335 students,  BME 22.6% 7,710 students made up from Asian 13.9% 4,730 students, Other including Mixed 6.6% 2,245 students and Black 2.2% 735 students.

Breakdown of students at UK universities by ethnicity (2018 UK intake)**

Bar chart showing: All UK universities - White students 73.1% and BME students 26.9%. Russell Group - White students 76.3% and BME students 23.7%. Russell Group outside London - White students 80.9% and BME students 19.1%.

Oxford University (2020 UK intake)***

Bar chart showing: All UK universities - White students 76.4% and BME students 23.6%.

*2011 UK census. Source: Office for National Statistics.
**Most recent available national data covers 2018 intake: defined as first-year, first-degree, UK-domiciled undergraduate students, academic year 2018/19. AAA+ pool includes equivalent Scottish qualifications. See note on HESA data for full citation.
***Excluding students whose ethnicity status is not declared.

University-level data

BME students

  • The number of UK-domiciled BME applicants to Oxford has increased since 2016, as have the numbers of students receiving offers and being admitted.

  • The proportion of UK-domiciled students admitted to Oxford who indicate in their UCAS application that they identify as BME has risen from 15.8% in 2016 to 23.6% in 2020.

UK-domiciled BME students: applications to Oxford, offers made and students admitted, 2016–2020

 BME StudentsWhite Students 
 ApplicationsOffersAdmittedApplicationsOffersAdmittedBME proportion of total
UK students admitted
11
20204,0247066849,5092,2932,21423.6%
20193,5966695589,5832,3061,97822.0%
20183,0975514579,0482,3052,04518.3%
20172,8995194468,9212,3242,05717.8%
20162,5474924118,9172,4412,19415.8%

11. Excluding students whose ethnicity status is not declared.

Asian students

  • Since 2016, applications from UK-domiciled Asian students have been increasing annually, as have offers received and students admitted.

  • The proportion of UK-domiciled students admitted to Oxford who indicate in their UCAS application that they identify as Asian has risen from 7.2% in 2016 to 9.6% in 2020.

UK-domiciled Asian students: applications to Oxford, offers made and students admitted, 2016–2020

 ApplicationsOffersAdmittedProportion of total
UK students admitted
11
20202,1352892779.6%
20191,9012792439.6%
20181,6872492088.3%
20171,5392412068.2%
20161,3262271887.2%

11. Excluding students whose ethnicity status is not declared. 

Bar chart showing: Breakdown of students achieving AAA or better at A-level (all UK universities, 2018 UK intake)* - 86.1% White/other BME and 13.9% Asian. Breakdown of students at non-London Russell Group universities (2018 UK intake)* - 90.2% White/othe

*Most recent available national data covers 2018 intake: defined as first-year, first-degree, UK-domiciled undergraduate students, academic year 2018/19. AAA+ pool includes equivalent Scottish qualifications. See note on HESA data for full citation.

Bangladeshi and Pakistani students

  • Since 2016, the numbers of UK-domiciled Bangladeshi and Pakistani students applying to Oxford, being made offers and being admitted have risen substantially.

  • The proportion of UK-domiciled students admitted to Oxford who indicate in their UCAS application that they identify as Bangladeshi or Pakistani has risen from 1.4% in 2016 to 2.0% in 2020.

Note: Within the British Asian group, Bangladeshi and Pakistani students are considered underrepresented at highly selective universities, hence their inclusion as a separate group at University level in this report.

UK-domiciled Bangladeshi and Pakistani students: applications to Oxford, offers made and students admitted, 2016–2020

 ApplicationsOffersAdmittedProportion of total
UK students admitted
11
202061866592.0%
201953267532.0%
201844352411.6%
201738455431.7%
201629948361.4%

11. Excluding students whose ethnicity status is not declared. 

Bar chart showing: Breakdown of students achieving AAA or better at A-level (all UK universities, 2018 UK intake)* - 96.3% White/other BME and 3.7% Bangladeshi/Pakistani. Breakdown of students at non-London Russell Group universities (2018 UK intake)* - 9

*Most recent available national data covers 2018 intake: defined as first-year, first-degree, UK-domiciled undergraduate students, academic year 2018/19. AAA+ pool includes equivalent Scottish qualifications. See note on HESA data for full citation.

Students with Black African or Black Caribbean heritage12

  • The numbers of UK-domiciled students with Black African or Black Caribbean heritage applying to Oxford, receiving offers and being admitted have increased from 2016 to 2020.

  • The proportion of UK-domiciled students admitted to Oxford who indicate in their UCAS application that they identify as Black has risen from 1.3% in 2016 to 3.7% in 2020.

UK-domiciled students with Black African or Black Caribbean heritage: applications to Oxford, offers made and students admitted, 2016–2020

 ApplicationsOffersAdmittedProportion of total
UK students admitted
11
20205641091063.7%
2019498107803.2%
201842486652.6%
201739665481.9%
201632854341.3%

11. Excluding students whose ethnicity status is not declared. 

Bar chart showing: Breakdown of students achieving AAA or better at A-level (all UK universities, 2018 UK intake)* - 97.8% White/other BME and 2.2% Black. Breakdown of students at non-London Russell Group universities (2018 UK intake)* - 96.8% White/other

*Most recent available national data covers 2018 intake: defined as first-year, first-degree, UK-domiciled undergraduate students, academic year 2018/19. AAA+ pool includes equivalent Scottish qualifications. See note on HESA data for full citation.

Mixed Heritage students

  • The number of UK-domiciled Mixed Heritage applicants to Oxford has risen since 2016, as have the numbers of students receiving offers and being admitted.

  • The proportion of UK-domiciled students admitted to Oxford who indicate in their UCAS application that they identify as Mixed Heritage rose from 6.4% in 2016 to 8.8% in 2020.

UK-domiciled Mixed Heritage students: applications to Oxford, offers made and students admitted, 2016–2020

 ApplicationsOffersAdmittedProportion of total
UK students admitted
11
20201,0532622568.8%
20199692472068.1%
20188161911626.5%
20177681801646.6%
20167331861676.4%

11. Excluding students whose ethnicity status is not declared. 

Bar chart showing: Breakdown of students achieving AAA or better at A-level (all UK universities, 2018 UK intake)* - 94.8% White/other BME and 5.2% Mixed. Breakdown of students at non-London Russell Group universities (2018 UK intake)* - 95.0% White/other

*Most recent available national data covers 2018 intake: defined as first-year, first-degree, UK-domiciled undergraduate students, academic year 2018/19. AAA+ pool includes equivalent Scottish qualifications. See note on HESA data for full citation.

**National data does not include Mixed ethnicity as a separate category; it only provides ‘other including Mixed’ where ‘other’ includes all ethnicities that do not fall into any subcategories of White, Asian or Black ethnic groups.

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 ethnicity.

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