Oxford publishes statistics on admissions diversity – BITC says need to translate attraction into successful admissions

Oxford University has published its latest admission statistics today (23 May 2018), which show that white British applicants were twice as likely to be admitted to undergraduate courses as their black British peers.
Responding to the statistics, Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director, Business in the Community, said
“Today’s statistics suggest that Oxford is not struggling to attract BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) candidates. However, the gap between admissions for White and BAME applications indicates there are challenges around translating this interest into successful admissions.
“I would encourage all universities – including Oxford – to ensure that employees from BAME backgrounds are involved in the selection process wherever possible, including interviews, and provide unconscious bias training to all staff involved in these processes. Universities should also set targets to increase BAME student representation and monitor each stage of the selection process to identify areas where BAME students are disproportionately dropping out and take action to address this. Finally, they should also engage with schools with a diverse selection of potential candidates, provide comprehensive pre-application guidance to help young people understand what is expected as part of the application process, and give feedback to unsuccessful candidates to help them understand where they can develop their skills further. These steps will ensure that young people from all ethnic backgrounds have a fair and equal chance to succeed.”