Access Agreement target categories | University of Oxford

Access Agreement target categories

Four of Oxford’s targets in its Access and Participation Plan with the Office for Students relate to increasing the proportion of UK undergraduates from the following categories:

  • Students from schools and colleges which historically have had limited progression to Oxford
  • Students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds (ACORN)
  • Students from neighbourhoods with low participation in higher education (POLAR)
  • Students with disabilities

Our Access and Participation Plan 2019-20 and all our previous Access Agreements are available to download

Target 1: Increase the percentage of UK undergraduate students entering Oxford from schools and colleges that historically have had limited progression to at least 15.9% in 2019-20.

This is defined as schools and colleges where 30 or fewer students achieve AAA over a three-year period (ie an average of 0-10 students per year achieve AAA), but where there is limited historical success in putting forward successful candidates for Oxford.

In the four years to 2015-16, an average of 14.4% of accepted applicants to Oxford came from these schools and colleges. We therefore took the view that an appropriately stretching target would be to have 15.9% of accepted UK applicants drawn from these state schools and colleges by 2019-20.

UCAS cycle for year of entry

Target students as percentage of overall accepted UK students

Target met?
2017 16.9% Yes

Target 2: Increase the percentage of UK undergraduate students at Oxford from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds to at least 9.5% in 2019-20.

This is defined as UK students coming from ACORN postcodes 4 and 5 (ie the least advantaged areas in the UK).

An average of 7.9% of accepted UK applicants to Oxford came from these postcodes in the four years to 2015-16. We therefore took the view that an appropriately stretching target would be to have 9.5% of accepted UK applicants drawn from ACORN 4 and 5 households by 2019-20.

UCAS cycle for year of entry

Target students as percentage of overall accepted UK students

Target met?
2017 10.6% Yes

Target 3: Increase the percentage of UK undergraduate students at Oxford from neighbourhoods with low participation in higher education to 13% by 2019-20.

This is defined as UK students coming from POLAR2 quintiles 1 and 2 (the postcode areas with the lowest rates of progression to higher education, representing the 40% of school leavers least likely to progress to higher education).

An average of 10% of accepted UK applicants to Oxford came from POLAR3 quintiles 1 and
2 in the four years to 2015-16. We therefore took the view that an appropriately stretching target would be to have 13% of accepted UK applicants drawn from POLAR3 quintiles 1 and
2 by 2019-20.

UCAS cycle for year of entry

Target students as percentage of overall accepted UK students

Target met?
2017 12.7% Not yet


 Target 4: ensure that the proportion of UK undergraduate students with declared disabilities or specific learning difficulties (regardless of whether they receive the DSA) at the University does not drop below the current level of 8.8% (based on the average 2011-12 to 2013-14).

During the period covered by Access Agreements with the Office for Fair Access, Oxford consistently achieved our target of meeting or exceeding HESA’s annual benchmark on UK undergraduate students at Oxford with disabilities or specific learning difficulties in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). Our current target is based on ensuring that the proportion of UK undergraduate students declaring a disability does not fall below 8.8%.

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