Oxford Brookes doing worse than College of Oxford on state college admissions

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Oxford Brookes doing worse than College of Oxford on state college admissions

An Oxford college is struggling to satisfy targets for widening participation, in keeping with the most recent set of official statistics – however it’s not the college you would possibly assume.

Figures published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency reveal that Oxford Brookes College admitted the next proportion of privately educated undergraduates than most different UK universities, and greater than some extremely selective establishments such because the London Faculty of Economics.

Oxford Brookes – based in 1865 and now with 18,000 full and part-time college students – additionally has the widest hole between the variety of state-educated college students it admits and benchmarks produced by larger schooling statisticians that mannequin what an establishment’s pupil physique ought to be like given topics studied, entry {qualifications}, age and ethnicity of candidates.

Whereas Hesa’s benchmark predicts Oxford Brookes to have 91% of its college students from state faculties, the previous polytechnic solely recruited 68% from state faculties in 2018-19, a niche of 23 share factors – the best amongst mainstream universities.

Compared, the College of Oxford’s benchmark for state college pupils was 73% however it admitted 61% final 12 months, for a niche of simply 12 share factors.

The figures counsel Oxford Brookes remains to be struggling to formulate new entry and participation plans to fulfill the Workplace for College students, the upper schooling regulator for England. In 2018 the OfS imposed a specific condition on Oxford Brookes over its failure to enhance recruitment from under-represented teams.

A spokesperson for the college mentioned: “Oxford Brookes stays dedicated to making sure truthful entry to larger schooling. We’re actively working to enhance entry for under-represented teams, and though we’ve got seen progress, with elevated enrolments from UK black and minority ethnic college students, we settle for that there’s extra to do.

“Along with setting bold targets inside our subsequent entry and participation plan, we proceed to construct on work launched over the past 18 months, similar to a considerable extension to our faculties partnership work – aiming to interact 800 state faculties throughout a broad geographical area – and focused programmes.”

Oxford Brookes’s private-state hole put it within the firm of Exeter College, whose 65% state-educated college students was far beneath its benchmark of 81%, and Bristol College, with simply 67% from state faculties and an 80% benchmark.

Different selective Russell Group universities boasted much better data, together with the College of Manchester and the College of Glasgow, which each recruited extra state college pupils than their benchmarks, whereas the College of Warwick got here near assembly its 80% benchmark.

However the Hesa figures confirmed that Russell Group members – together with Oxford, Cambridge and Warwick universities – had been among the many least prone to admit undergraduates from areas with little or no earlier participation in larger schooling.

The nationwide figures confirmed a slowdown in progress in recruiting and admitting college students from low participation areas. Throughout the UK, 11.4% of younger first-time undergraduates had been from disadvantaged areas, the identical because the earlier 12 months. At universities in England the proportion was 11.4%, fractionally larger than the 12 months earlier than, whereas in Wales it was static at 13.1%.

The OfS mentioned: “Regardless of important efforts and funding over a few years this knowledge reveals solely a modest enchancment within the charges of deprived college students getting into larger schooling in 2018-19.

“Then again, the most recent Ucas knowledge, for college kids who started their programs final autumn, suggests a welcome upturn in progress.”

The OfS desires Engand’s most selective universities to extend recruitment from deprived areas by 6,500 from 2024-25.

A spokesperson for Universities UK mentioned establishments in England had set “bold targets” to widen entry.

“We all know that extra individuals are making use of to college, and the hole between probably the most advantaged and deprived candidates is at a file low, however there’s a shared will within the sector to see gaps slender additional,” UUK mentioned.