Oxford University is a world renown educational institution that graduates some of the top members of British society. Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, David Cameron and Britain’s current leader, Theresa May have all called Oxford home at some point in terms of secondary educational schooling. Yet despite its success, many view the university as an upper-class success factory that seeks to keep rich / entitled British citizens at the top.
According to the Washington Post, “fee-paying private schools educate only about 7 percent of the population,” yet last year, “42 percent of Oxford’s new students went to a private school.” While shocking the school stated that the 58% that did not come from private schools “was the highest figure since it began recording these statistics.”
Oxford University has earned its reputation of success, but it may be cherry picking from a group of British citizens that need the least amount of aid in terms of education and networking to achieve high levels of success.
There was also a call for more diversity from an ethnic standpoint, but, in my opinion the real issue is a socioeconomic one. “Last year, 3,270 new students — from an applicant pile of 19,938 — enrolled at Oxford University. Of those new students, only 1.9 percent identified as black Britons.” This is better than the 1.1% from 2013 and edging closer to the 3% black British population. In addition, overall “17.9 percent of its new students last year were from a black and minority ethnic background — up from 13.9 percent in 2013. According to the 2011 census, 14 percent of the British population identifies as black or ethnic minority.”
If the ethnic growth continues, diverse students may soon outpace their percentage of population. But when looking at it from a socioeconomic standpoint issues are still prevalent. Expanding the reach of the college is necessary to truly be the top university of the country and to offer opportunities to citizens from all walks of life.