State entrants on the rise at Oxford

State school admissions to Oxford University have reached an unprecedented height, according to recent statistics.

Early figures in a report released by the University Press Office last Friday revealed that 58.5% of offers made for 2011 entry have been given to state school pupils. Just 41.5% of offers were made to private school candidates.

Furthermore, 55.4% of UK school students admitted in 2010 were from the state sector. This marks a 1.5% rise from 2009.

13.5% of UK undergraduates at Oxford in 2009/10 were from households with annual incomes of less than £25,000, well under the upper threshold for EMA.

27.2% had household incomes below £50,000, the current cut off point for a government maintenance grant.

The university website states that Oxford is \”committed to recruiting the best candidates\” irrespective of social or educational background.

However, the report argues that disparities in attainment across different types of school present a significant challenge to achieving this aim, with independent school students forming a third of all those gaining AAA at A Level.

The figures suggest that the university\’s outreach schemes, which attempt to dispel many myths about Oxbridge, have been successful in encouraging more state applicants.

The number of applications as a whole hit a record 17,300 for 2011 entry, with 64.3% of these coming from state students.

More than 40% of those who had attended an access summer school received an offer – double the success rate of an average applicant.

Mike Nicholson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Oxford said, \”We are pleased that figures for 2010 and preliminary offer figures for 2011 show the proportion of state students gradually rising. We believe this shows the great amount of effort and energy we have put into our outreach work is paying off.\”

Numbers of state school pupils at Oxford could be set to rise further with the new government act on higher education. Universities in England have been told that they could be denied the right to charge fees up to the highest level of £9,000 unless they take measures to attract a wider mix of students. This includes teenagers from state schools and areas with no tradition of progression to degree study.

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These new statistics were released just days before today\’s announcement that the university plans to charge tuition fees of between £3,500 and £8,000 for students with a household income of less than £25,000, and £9,000 for all others.