The University has today published its first Annual Admissions Report, available here. We welcome the publication of this report, which highlights some of the successes of Balliol’s outreach work in recent years, but also makes clear that there is much work still to do.
We are pleased that the data released today shows that Balliol has one of the highest proportions of state school students in the University: 64.5% of UK students admitted to Balliol in the last three years were educated in the state sector. This is testament in part to the efforts of many College tutors, staff, students, and alumni who take part in a wide range of access initiatives, from Open Days and school visits to our Floreat Access Programme, a year-long academic programme offered to Year 12 students from state schools. The report shows that BME students make up 18.4% of UK applicants admitted to the College, a little above the BME share of the England and Wales population of 18.3%, but we are keen to do more to encourage applications from BME students, and in particular to increase the number of offers made to British black students. The data also shows that 39.4% of admitted undergraduates were female and 60.6% male. The gender balance of the undergraduate body is in part a function of the particular mix of subjects offered by the College, and must be understood in a context whereby the University’s overall intake of UK undergraduates in 2017 was 50.1% female and 49.9% male. The College has committed to reduce the gap between male and female students in successful admissions to Balliol as one of its Equality Objectives for the next four years. It is also looking to increase the number of students from ethnic groups which are currently under-represented in the University, and is seeking to recruit UK-domiciled black students in particular in its outreach work. We are actively considering new initiatives to help us further these aims.
To take but a few examples of our recent and ongoing outreach work: Balliol provided financial support for the recent expansion of the Target Oxbridge programme, which supports black prospective applicants; we have changed the allocation of resources within our link region, Hertfordshire, to ensure that we reach the areas with the most diversity and the most social economic disadvantage, and we are focusing on particular areas - for example Watford, where 41% of school students are black or minority ethnic; we shall shortly be launching a pilot programme with teachers from state schools in Hertfordshire, which aims to help them raise student attainment and improve their provision for able students.
The Admissions Report captures only part of the character of the College: it does not, for example, include graduate students, or undergraduates domiciled outside the UK. Both groups contribute immensely to our academic community. Balliol is strongly committed to maintaining and promoting diversity within the College, and ensuring fairness in its admission procedures. We will continue to work hard in the coming years to pursue these goals.
This article was updated on 30 May 2018 to include the BME share of the England and Wales population, and examples of Balliol’s outreach work.