Twenty-two Junior Common Room (JCR) and Student Union (SU) Presidents have signed a statement describing Oxford’s First Annual Admissions Statistical Report, released earlier today, as “heavily disappointing”.
The letter argues that the underrepresentation of BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic), state schooled, and socioeconomically disadvantaged students at Oxford is indicative of “a systematic issue across the university”.
Whilst recognising that there is a “range of results” across the various colleges, and that “some progress is being made”, it maintains that “the situation must change” and calls on “the University and its Colleges to take every possible step to ensure that this situation improves in the short and long-term”.
Some areas are singled out for praise, however: the work of student campaigns and societies like the Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality, the Class Act Campaign, and the African and Caribbean Society are commended, as is the introduction by the university and colleges of schemes such as the Foundation Year at Lady Margaret Hall and the UNIQ summer schools.
The letter ends with the words: “We hope that prospective applicants are not discouraged from applying to study at Oxford by these statistics … We are optimistic that progress will continue [and] hope that prospective students will see this movement for change and choose to become part of a student body that is striving for a diverse, inclusive, and vibrant University. There is a place for you here.”
It can be read in full below: