Access Agreement target categories | University of Oxford

Access Agreement target categories

Oxford’s targets in its Access Agreement with the Office for Fair Access 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

  • Students from neighbourhoods with low participation in higher education

  • Students with disabilities.

The following table shows the number of students applying for 2015 entry (or deferred entry in 2016) who meet one or more of these Access Agreement target categories:

Students meeting one or more Access Agreement target category, 2015 entry

Total number of UK applicantsTotal number of UK applicants with at least 1 OFFA flag (ie target group)Total accepted UK applicantsTarget students acceptedTarget students as percentage of overall accepted UK students
11,7294,8462,59989334.4%

Breakdown by Access Agreement target

Oxford’s Access Agreement for 2012-13 with the Office for Fair Access set out the following specific target groups:

1) Students from schools and colleges which historically have had limited progression to Oxford: 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. The target is to increase the proportion of UK students coming from this group of schools and colleges to 25% by 2016-17. 

Applications and acceptances by Access Agreement schools target category, 2015 entry

Total number of UK applicantsTotal number of UK applicants from target schools and collegesTotal accepted UK applicantsStudents accepted from target schoolsTarget students as percentage of overall accepted UK students
11,7293,0372,59952720.3%

2) Students from socio-economically disadvantaged areas: defined as UK students coming from ACORN postcodes 4 and 5 (ie the least advantaged areas in the UK). The target is to increase the proportion of UK students coming from this group to 9% by 2016-17. 

Applications and acceptances by Access Agreement socio-economic target category, 2015 entry

Total number of UK applicants matched with ACORN postcode data 1Total number of UK applicants from ACORN postcodes 4 and 5Total number of accepted UK applicants matched with ACORN postcode dataStudents accepted from ACORN postcodes 4 and 5Target students as percentage of overall accepted UK students matched with ACORN postcode data
11,6421,3512,5842228.6%
  1. The ACORN dataset is used to determine socio-economic disadvantage at a postcode level. ACORN stands for ‘A Classification Of Residential Neighbourhoods’. It is a geodemographic information system categorising all UK postcodes into one of five broad types, based on census data and other information. Data on a whole range of factors including job type, education level, property type and unemployment feed in to the categorisation. It is used in marketing as well as being used widely for public policy and planning. The ACORN categories 4 and 5 (‘moderate means’ and ‘hard pressed’) are those on which Oxford will focus.

3) Students from neighbourhoods with low participation in higher education: defined as UK students coming from POLAR 2 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). The target is to increase the proportion of UK students coming from this group to 13% by 2016-17.

Applications and acceptances by Access Agreement low participation target category, 2015 entry

Total number of UK applicants matched with POLAR2 postcode data 1Total number of UK applicants from POLAR2 quintile one and two postcodesTotal number of accepted UK applicants matched with POLAR2 postcode dataStudents accepted from POLAR2 quintile one and two postcodesTarget students as percentage of overall accepted UK students matched with POLAR2 postcode data
11,5081,5152,55529411.5%
  1. The POLAR 2 postcode dataset is used by the government and HEFCE for identifying low participation in higher education. POLAR – ‘Participation Of Local Areas’ - is a series of maps showing the participation of young people in higher education for different geographical areas. The data is based on the proportion of young people in an area who go on to enter higher education aged 18 or 19. The POLAR maps and data sets show how the chances of young people entering higher education vary by where they live. The data is broken down into 5 groups (quintiles). Quintile 1 represents the fifth of areas with the lowest participation rates in higher education. Quintile 5 has the highest. Oxford is interested in quintiles 1 and 2, in other words the 40% of school leavers least likely to progress to higher education. For more information on POLAR, see http://www.hefce.ac.uk/analysis/yp/POLAR/.

     

4) Disabled students: The target is to continue to meet or exceed the HEFCE benchmark that disabled students make up 3.2% of the total undergraduate population.