Today the University of Oxford has published its ‘Annual Admissions Statistical Report’ detailing the University’s latest undergraduate admissions figures. 

Against a backdrop of a global pandemic which created unprecedented concerns around educational inequality, the University has made record progress on the admission of students from under-represented groups, evidencing its commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

The report shows that Mansfield continues to lead the way on widening access to Oxford, staying true to our mission as a College: to make an Oxford University education available to those with greatest academic potential,  from the widest range of backgrounds; and particularly to encourage applications from people who have faced barriers,  or been marginalised, and who might not otherwise apply.

Between 2018-2020, on average, 94% of Mansfield’s UK student intake came from state schools, by far the highest figure of any of the Oxford colleges. The report also shows that, during the same period, 25% of Mansfield’s UK student intake identified as black, asian or minority ethnic, making Mansfield one of the most socially and racially diverse student communities at Oxford. 

Oxford University has made significant cultural shifts in recent years, and the number of successful state school applications across the University as a whole rose to 68% in 2020 – an increase of more than 6% on the previous year’s admissions of 62%.

Over the last year, in the face of COVID-19 restrictions, the University has worked hard to reshape its outreach and access activities for online audiences, ensuring that as many people from underrepresented backgrounds could access them. These plans include adding 300 places to benefit from the online academic support offered by the Opportunity Oxford bridging scheme, for students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. This will take the number of students it supports from an initial 116 to almost 500 in just two years. 

Meanwhile at Mansfield, we are proud that we have continued to welcome the highest proportion of UK undergraduates who come from positions of least advantage by Oxford’s measures.  Between 2018-2020, 19% of Mansfield’s UK undergraduates have come from the most socio-economically disadvantaged areas of the country and 21% of our UK undergraduates are from areas with the lowest progression to higher education.

Mansfield’s latest admissions figures are a real testament to the outstanding work of Mansfield’s Access and Admissions team, and to the work of all of our academics and staff involved in the admissions process.

The Covid crisis means we risk inequalities in society deepening. At Mansfield, we aim to help people from a broad range of backgrounds develop their talents and make a positive contribution to the world.  We believe that, by encouraging a more diverse range of voices and experiences in leadership positions – whether in politics, industry, education or other sectors – we help create the cognitive diversity, creativity and imagination which are needed to will help build a better society.

There is still lots more for us to do. We look forward to being able to get back to delivering Mansfield’s exceptional outreach programme in person, as well as incorporating new ways of working, which have resulted in us being able to reach more people through running our activities online. And we are grateful to everyone who works to make Mansfield the imaginative, inclusive community that it is.