Only 50 black students offered places at the University last year

Image credit: Andrew Dunn

UCAS has recently released its Undergraduate reports for 2016 entry, revealing data for applications and offers. Divided up by sex, area, background, and ethnic group, the data shows that for the 2016 cycle only 50 black applicants were offered places at the University. This compares with 45 offers for black applicants at Oxford.

In comparison, 2,130 white students were offered places at the University for 2016 entry. Only 220 black students applied to the University, resulting in an offer rate of 22.2%. However, this is still significantly lower than the offer rate for white applicants which was 34.5%.

Offer rates for those of Asian, mixed, and other ethnicities were 32.9%, 33% and 32.1% respectively. The most significant disparity therefore seems to lie in the proportion of black applicants who were accepted by the University.

There was a similar level of disparity at Oxford. There, the proportion of black students who were offered a place was just 16.7%, compared with 26.3% of white applicants. However, the offer rates for those of Asian and black ethnicities seemed to be more in line with each other. 16.8% of Asian applicants received offers, compared with 25.4% of those of mixed ethnicity, and 15.6% of those of another ethnicity.

This data comes in the wake of pressure on universities to accept a more diverse and representative student body. The results of the Undergraduate reports, which are marked in the inequalities they represent, prompted Professor Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access to Higher Education to comment on the Office for Fair Access website.

“Although it cannot provide conclusive proof that offer making is biased, it should certainly prompt universities to investigate their admissions policies and practices if the data suggests that certain groups of students receive unusually low offers”.

In light of this the University said its admissions were based on “academic considerations alone”. It added that “the greatest barrier to participation at selective universities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds is low attainment at school”.

The pattern of inequalities in both applications and offers is similarly clear in the reports for other Russell Group universities.

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