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Toby Young @toadmeister
, 22 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
So much virtue-signalling rubbish being spouted about Oxford and admissions (like @peston’s tweet below) I feel compelled to do another thread on it.
There is no robust evidence that Oxford is biased against BME applicants, female applicants, applicants from the North East or applicants from state schools.
BME students make up 17.9% of all British Oxford undergraduates. That's pretty close to the percentage of BME people among 17-24-year-olds in England and Wales – 18.3%. If you include post-grads and international students, total number of BME students at Oxford climbs to 28%.
It's true that the offer rate for black British applicants is lower than it is for white applicants: 16% as opposed to 24% in 2017. But that statistic is misleading because doesn't take into account the grades of the applicants or the popularity of the subjects they applied for.
UCAS published some data in January which shows that if you control for those variables, 18-year-old black British applicants to Oxford in 2017 had an above-average acceptance rate:
How can this be? Well, 40% of 18-year-old black British applicants to Oxford last year applied to do either Law or Medicine, where the acceptance rates are 13% and 10% respectively. So if ~16% of them got in, they're doing better than the average applicant.
Here's a graph showing the same thing:
So much for Oxford being 'racist'.
UCAS's data also shows that 18-year-old women had an above-average acceptance rate in 2017 and 18-year-old men a below-average acceptance rate, controlling for the same variables.
So much for Oxford being 'sexist'.
UCAS didn't break this down by region, but it did break it down by POLAR3 quintile. This shows that more disadvantaged 18-year-old applicants in 2017 had an above-average acceptance rate, controlling for the same variables.
So much for Oxford being 'snobbish'.
Why are there so few Oxford undergraduates from the North East? Partly because so few 18-year-olds in the North East get 3 As at A-level, which is the level you need to be at to get into Oxford. 925 in 2015, compared to >13,000 in London and the South East.
Of those sixth formers who do apply from the North East, they have a higher acceptance rate than applicants from any other region in the UK.
So much for Oxford being biased against applicants from the North East.
As for state school applicants, yes, you guessed it, they too had an above-average acceptance rate in 2017, controlling for those variables. To spell this out, applicants from state schools were more likely to get in last year than applicants from independent schools.
So much for Oxford being anti-state school.
On almost every diversity measure, Oxford is doing well. @Peston may be 'ashamed' of his alma mater, but I think if he bothered to drill down into the data, as I've done, he'd be as proud as I am of its record of widening participation.
One last point. One reason there are so few black British students at Oxford is because so few apply – 396 last year, out of a total pool of 19,938. There are many more black British students getting 3 As at A level than that. Why aren't they applying?
One reason could be (no research on this that I know of) that they're put off by @DavidLammy constantly harping on about Oxford's 'shameful' track record when it comes to admitting black British applicants and accusing it of 'social apartheid'.
If black British applicants think they're chances of getting in are below average (as opposed to the truth, which is that they're above average), that might well put some off applying.
That point was made by a spokesman for Oxford's African-Caribbean Society on @BBCr4today this morning. Who, incidentally, pointed out that @DavidLammy had made no effort to contact black British students at Oxford to solicit their views (at 8.10am). bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b… //ENDS
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