As the University of Oxford admitted more women than men for the first time in its history, BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme invited three education experts to discuss the ongoing challenge for fair access to the UK’s top universities. Naomi Kellman, Rare’s Senior Manager for Schools and Universities, was interviewed alongside Sir Michael Barber, Chair of the recently formed Office for Students, and Dr Lee Elliot Major, Chief Executive at The Sutton Trust.
While acknowledging that Oxbridge admissions have seen a welcome increase in the numbers of offers made to talented black and minority ethnic students, Naomi reminded listeners of the challenges that remain. “Target Oxbridge works to provide mentoring and support through the application process, but we’d like to see more longitudinal support available to younger students.” Naomi pointed out that while Target Oxbridge is highly successful in its work with Year 12 students, the lower level of attainment of black students in younger school years needs urgent attention.
Naomi also called on researchers to examine each set of results contained within Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups - such as Caribbean, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and so on - instead of lumping them all together. Sir Michael Barber agreed firmly with Naomi on the importance of examining all the data and ensuring the pipeline of talented young people from diverse backgrounds.
Listen to the full interview here (starts at 11 min 30 sec).
Target Oxbridge has helped 46 Rare candidates gain offers from Oxbridge so far, with more to report soon from 2017's admissions process. Learn more about Target Oxbridge here.