UNIQ session in Wytham Woods
UNIQ session in Wytham Woods
Credit: Rob Judges. Find out more about UNIQ Summer Schools here

Increasing access

Oxford wants the best students, from every kind of background.

The University is committed to ensuring that our undergraduate admissions processes identify students with outstanding academic potential and the ability to benefit from an Oxford course whatever their background, as outlined in the University’s Strategic Plan.

The University of Oxford undertakes a wide range of activities to inform, attract, and support the most able candidates from all socio-economic, cultural and geographical backgrounds. We know that our main challenges lie in encouraging students from under-represented groups to apply to Oxford and in helping them to make competitive applications. As a result our outreach activity has become increasingly targeted at those groups that are under-represented in higher education in general and the University of Oxford in particular.

These include:

  • students living in neighbourhoods where there is low-participation higher education (POLAR); 
  • those living in areas of socio-economic disadvantage (ACORN); 
  • schools with little history of successful Oxford applications; 
  • under-represented ethnic minority groups (African, Caribbean, Pakistani and Bangladeshi); 
  • first-generation HE participants; 
  • women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects
  • white working class boys and girls
  • rural and coastal locations with a history of low progression to higher education

The University has access targets which relate to some of these groups and form part of the Access and Participation Plan between the University of Oxford and the Office for Students. Our Access and Participation Plan is available to download.

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