Skip to main content
11th May 2021

Exeter College welcomes release of the University of Oxford’s fourth annual Admissions Statistics Report

Exeter College actively promotes diversity amongst its students, staff and visitors, recognising the contributions to our academic mission made by individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. We welcome the University’s fourth annual release of admissions statistics, which provides a snapshot of the 2018-20 intake to the UK-based undergraduate student body of the College.

The report identifies a number of areas where the composition of the College’s undergraduate body has become more diverse since last year’s report: the proportion of state school students has risen from 56.3% in 2017-19 to 59.6% in 2018-20, and we have seen a significant increase in the proportion of students from BME backgrounds from 15.5% (2017-19) to 20.1% of the UK undergraduate body admitted between 2018 and 2020. Offer-rates to BME (23.6%) and non-BME (23.0%) applicants are now similar. Also the proportion of students from less socioeconomically advantaged areas (ACORN categories 4 and 5) has increased from 7.2% (2017-19) to 12.4% (2018-20).

The report also identifies areas where we have made limited progress. The proportion of students admitted from areas with low progression to higher education (POLAR quintiles 1 and 2) remains low at 9.6% in 2018-20 (versus 8.5% in 2017-19). This reflects the low number of applications we received from these backgrounds; it is clear that we need to redouble our efforts to attract qualified applicants from these backgrounds. Our offer-rates to these candidates (23.8%) are above the mean of all Oxford colleges (22.3%) and above the offer-rate for non-POLAR-flagged candidates (22.6%).

The statistics report indicates that we are making steady progress towards a more diverse undergraduate body, and the major goal of our outreach efforts is to increase the number of qualified applicants from areas of socioeconomic disadvantage and areas with low historic progression into higher education, as well as attracting a greater share of BAME applicants. We continue to fund places in the Target Oxbridge programme, a programme specifically focussed on improving the chances of black and mixed race students in their applications to Oxbridge via a mentorship programme, and are looking to develop further partnerships in this area, and in access more generally.

We are also supporting the University’s “Opportunity Oxford” Programme which is aimed at students from more disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds and offers additional support to these students to help them transition successfully from school to Oxford. We admitted eight students in 2020 under this scheme and have made seven offers for 2021 entry. Our own College-based transition programme, “Exeter Plus”, continues to expand and we hosted a two-week residential programme in 2020 for 17 of our incoming students from previously underrepresented backgrounds to offer additional bridging and on-course support. We are planning a similar “Exeter Plus” programme for September 2021.

Exeter College remains committed to attracting and admitting talented students of high academic achievement and potential, wherever and from whatever background they come from.

Professor Sir Richard Trainor (Rector) & Professor Conall Mac Niocaill (Tutor for Admissions)

The University’s Admissions Statistics Report can be accessed here.

Share this article