Some Improvement, But Still Tough Going for Black Students at Oxford

The University of Oxford is the oldest institution of higher education in the English-speaking world, dating back at least 900 years. Yet throughout most of its storied history there were no black students at the university.

Even today only 362, or 1.9 percent, of Oxford’s 19,000 undergraduate and graduate students are black. But the university reports that progress is being made. This year the number of black applicants to Oxford increased by 19 percent and the number of black students accepted to the university rose by 21 percent.

Most of the black applicants to Oxford are of African descent. Blacks with African heritage outnumbered other black applicants by more than 4 to 1. Only 16 percent of blacks with Afro-Caribbean heritage were accepted for admission compared to an overall success rate of 28 percent for students of all races.