All but one of the Russell Group unis accepted more ethnic minority students in 2020

Oxford and Cambridge both admitted record numbers of Black students

Southampton is the only Russell Group uni which failed to recruit more BAME students in 2020 than 2019.

As the pandemic saw top unis scramble to recruit students, increased acceptance numbers brought with them an increase in the number of ethnic minority students getting places, an analysis of newly-released UCAS stats by The Tab can reveal.

In the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, nearly every uni pledged to do more to make their campuses more inclusive and diverse places.

When it comes to achieving that through recruitment, the new stats show modest progress despite concerns about the pandemic causing students from minority backgrounds to miss out on top unis.

However, while most Russell Group unis took in way more students during the pandemic, in many cases BAME students failed to fully see the benefits of the influx.

BAME students accepted in 2019 vs 2020

While Southampton recruited a total of 230 more students in 2020, it accepted five fewer BAME students – seeing its total fall from 835 to 830.

Both Oxford and Cambridge managed to accept more students from ethnic minority backgrounds – Cambridge saw an increase of 25 per cent, while Oxford’s intake increased by 23 per cent.

Cambridge and Oxford also both took record number of Black undergrads in 2020.

Despite the widespread rise, the proportion of students getting offers who were BAME fell for a handful of unis – meaning white students disproportionately benefitted from the increase in acceptances.

BAME students as a percentage of those accepted, 2019 vs 2020

Every Russell Group uni accepted more students during the pandemic, and all but Southampton accepted more BAME students. However, for Birmingham, Exeter, Liverpool, and Southampton, these students represented a smaller proportion of the overall acceptances than in 2019.

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Featured image credit: Saron Mehari, via CC BY 3.0 license