Update: 19/08/2020

We are delighted that candidates can now use their Centre Assessed Grades to meet their offer. Particular praise and thanks must go to impressive (and largely unsung) teacher heroes at so many schools, and to this year’s A Level students after an incredibly challenging few days. 

In line with the University’s announcement on this, we are both honouring the previous offers we made, and we are accepting those who met their offer with their Centre Assessed Grades.

We’re currently working through the process of contacting all of our offer-holders, reviewing positions on a case by case basis, and doing everything we can to support them.  

At Mansfield we are deeply proud of our record on widening access to the University of Oxford, and our consistent position as the most socially diverse college.

So, like many of our alumni and offer holders, we share the disquiet that the methods which have been used to determine A Level results this year may have had a particular impact on the most disadvantaged candidates. This was of particular concern to us because this year, as always, Mansfield had a very high proportion of excellent offer holders from lower performing schools, who were likely to be particularly negatively affected by the Government’s assessment arrangements. 

Every year, we take great care to consider all of the information we have on each Oxford application, academic qualifications and individual circumstances, not just A level results, both when making offers and when considering candidates who do not meet their predicted grades.

In the light of this year’s exceptional circumstances we have gone to exceptional lengths to understand mitigating circumstances for those candidates whose assessed grades were not what they expected – including those affected by the algorithmic process. We have offered places to all our candidates who met their offers and extended “clemency” to as many students as possible who missed them, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

We have done this by admitting a record number of students, and by going almost 10% above our planned maximum number for this year.  We are currently planning to welcome our largest ever first year and preparing the resources and support they will need to thrive at Oxford. 

This year, 91% of our first-year students will come from state sector schools (of whom 90% are from non-selective schools); over 40% come from the most disadvantaged groups; and more than a quarter are the first generation in their families to go to University.

As a small college with the additional restrictions of social distancing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in the coming year, we are now at our maximum capacity (and two tutors have given up teaching rooms to enable us to accommodate more students). We could not admit any more students without compromising safety of all our students and staff. For any offer holder whose conditions to take up their offer have not yet been met, but who successfully appeals against their assessed grade, we will guarantee a deferred place for entry in the 2021-2022 academic year and will do all we can to support them during this year.   

I would like to thank Mansfield’s Senior Tutor and Admissions Manager for their exceptional dedication and kind professionalism this year and over so many years.

I want to also recognise that this has been an incredibly challenging year for our current students, who have studied and taken their exams during lockdown (and who have nonetheless performed brilliantly), and for our tutors and staff who have worked so hard to support them.

In difficult times, I am proud that Mansfield is living up to its progressive values and ethos: of openness; of inclusion of those traditionally excluded or marginalised; and our dynamic view that academic excellence can be achieved at different ages, under different circumstances, and recognised in many ways.


Helen Mountfield QC 

Principal, Mansfield College