Image description: Oxford High Street at night.
3,500 students have now been offered undergraduate places at the University for the next academic year, starting in October. The admissions process was extremely competitive: for every one undergraduate place, there were nearly seven applications.
The admissions process this year differed due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Interviews this year were held online, rather than students visiting the city and staying in colleges. Over 10,000 interviews were held by the University in December, the first time that virtual interviews have been used on a mass scale by the university for undergraduate admissions.
The cancellation of exams also changes the way in which students meet their offers. Whilst the details of how this will work in practise remain to be decided, a spokesperson for the university said:
“We will accept all students making their offer based on this year’s assessment system. In addition to grades awarded we have additional information on our offer holders, for example, performance in our admissions tests and interviews.
He also added that:
“We also have contextual information which helps to inform which students have been disadvantaged this year and where extenuating circumstances apply.”
The university also noted that “early indications” were that admissions from under-represented social groups would be similar to last year’s. Opportunity Oxford, which started last year, made offers to 168 students from under-represented backgrounds, providing extra support.
This will be the second cohort of new students affected by the pandemic. Given the academic impact on students this year, the university wrote that: “The University aims to do all it can to support offer holders from all backgrounds to assist their entry to Oxford at this difficult time.”
Further from last year, they are now “assessing and strengthening the support we offered last year, which included online briefing sessions with tutors and current students, and additional academic and mental health support for students’ first term in Oxford”
Image Credit: Iona Shen