Increasing access and new Opportunity Oxford programme

05 June 2020

In January 2020 Magdalen announced that it had admitted increased numbers of students from under-represented groups during the 2018-19 undergraduate admissions cycle.

The latest figures from the 2019-20 admissions cycle show that Magdalen is continuing to attract more and more applicants from under-represented groups, and also to make offers to more of these students.

As one of the Colleges to take part in the first year of the University’s new access programme Opportunity Oxford, Magdalen has also helped the University make 116 Opportunity offers to talented offer-holders from under-represented backgrounds, including four at Magdalen.


Applications were received in October 2019. Compared with the 2018-19 admissions cycle, the 2019-20 data show a 10.2% increase in the overall number of applications to Magdalen. Referring to UK-domiciled applicants only, the data show:


After interviews were completed in December 2019, offer letters were sent out in January 2020. Referring to UK applicants only, the data show:

Data relating to ethnicity are not made available by UCAS until the end of the admissions cycle.

Magdalen Access Fellow, Professor Robin Cleveland, commented, “These new figures, which show both an increase in applications from and offers made to students from under-represented groups, are a result of Magdalen’s commitment to a student body that is diverse.

“The outreach team have been outstanding in engaging with young people from a variety of backgrounds and making them all feel that their background is not a barrier to their coming to Magdalen.

“We will continue to engage with pupils, schools, the University, and the community as a whole to encourage young people to excel.”

Opportunity Oxford

Opportunity Oxford is the University’s new academic programme that aims to prepare talented offer-holders from under-represented backgrounds for their time at Oxford, so that they can make the most of their studies and life as a student.

Magdalen made four Opportunity Oxford offers this year and a further eleven standard offers to students who met the eligibility criteria for an Opportunity place.

Opportunity Oxford offer-holders and their parents/carers were invited to a University-wide Welcome Day on 21 February 2020, held at St Catherine’s College. During the afternoon Magdalen offer-holders were taken on a tour of the College by Magdalen’s JCR Admissions and Access Trustee, Eve McMullen. This gave them the opportunity to ask questions about College life and to meet other student ambassadors and welfare representatives.

Eve said, “It was so lovely to meet our new Opportunity Oxford offer-holders and answer their questions about what life will be like at Magdalen. The last couple of year-group intakes to College have been noticeably more diverse and so I was able to reassure these new offer-holders that they would feel at home here, as much as everyone else.

“Access is gaining a substantial profile among the Magdalen student body, with people delighted to hear the new stats and more ambassadors signing up to get involved!”

We look forward to welcoming all students who meet their offer conditions in the new academic year.