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Oxford applications fall

first_imgThe latest admission statistics released by Oxford have revealed a fall in applicants this year, despite applications from overseas and private school pupils increasing.This is the first year where students will pay £9,000 tuition fees. The drop in applications is, however, only 0.6% compared to the previous year. This contrasts with an average drop of around 7% nationally in UCAS applications for the 2012/13 round.Nonetheless, the number of state school students putting Oxford on their forms fell by 240, whilst 75 more private school pupils applied. In 2011, there was a fall in applications from 2010 levels in both the state and independent sectors.The figure represents only the second drop in applications to Oxford in a decade, although in 2007/8 the number of applicants fell by 1.8% compared to the previous year.State school students accounted for 56.6% of offers made to UK students, while private school students made up 41.1%. This is less than 2011, when the number of students accepted from UK private schools fell to 41.5%, a record low in at least the past five years. State schools pupils represented 56.7% of acceptances in 2011, an increase of 1.8% on the previous year and 3.8% since 2007.Preliminary figures for 2012 entry indicate that UK applications fell from 12,107 to 11,835. There was a slight drop in students applying from EU countries, but non-EU overseas applications rose strongly to increase total overseas applications from 5,236 to 5,408. Overseas applicants pay larger undergraduate fees ranging from £13,200 to  £27,550 per year, and now account for more than 30% of total applicants.Overall applications in 2011, however, increased from 17,144 to 17,343. The figures demonstrate that the total rise in applications made to Oxford in 2011 was entirely due to an increase in overseas applications.Deferred entry, which had been consistently around 5% in the last few years, fell to 2% of acceptances in 2011, as applicants sought to avoid higher tuition fees. As part of the response to the incoming £9,000 a year tuition fees, the University has agreed to representation targets set down by the Office of Fair Access (OFFA), backed by fee waivers for the poorest students. It has, for the first time, also granted conditional offers requiring at least one A* grade at A level.Domestic applications are still dominated by students from Greater London and the South East, which together accounted for 38.8% of all acceptances to Oxford in 2011. Both regions produced over 19% of entrants, with either on their own outstripping the combined acceptances from the North, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber regions, which totaled only 12.5%.British Bangladeshi, Pakistani and black students, particularly Black Caribbean students, are still under-represented at Oxford. Only 0.6% of successful applicants were Bangladeshi and Pakistani, while 1.2% were black.There were fewer entrants combined from these groups than those of Indian origin alone (2.7%), who along with Chinese students continue to do better than their percentage makeup in the general UK population. However, the success rates of ethnic minority students remain largely remain below 20%, lagging behind those of white students, at 24%.The most and least competitive courses, ranked by success rates, remain broadly the same, with Economics & Management still attracting far higher numbers of applicants than subjects such as Classics. Whether increased fees will affect subject choices remains to be seen.In an earlier press release in January, the University announced figures which indicated that state school applicants attending its summer school were more than twice as likely to win a place at Oxford than the national average. 41.7% of students who applied after participating in the 2011 UNIQ summer school, Oxford’s flagship access initiative launched in 2010, received offer letters, compared with around 20.5% of applicants in the same year. Rhys Owens, who attended UNIQ in 2010 and is now studying at Hertford, believes its success “demonstrates a general trend of increased access within the university”.He added, “UNIQ is a particularly good framework for access schemes. But it cannot be seen as the only successful initiative taken by the university.” Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, said, “We are passionately committed to attracting talented students whatever their circumstances. The UNIQ summer schools are a central pillar of our access strategy and we are delighted to see how effective they are.‘We also believe that by offering the most generous financial support in the country, we have made it more likely that those from under-represented socio-economic backgrounds will choose Oxford. We hope our message is getting across: If you have the ability, Oxford will remove all barriers.”The University has released comprehensive new statistics for 2011 admissions, as well as the preliminary offer figures for 2012 entries.last_img

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