The AAC Mission…
In 2016, of the black students attaining 3 A grades or more at A level across the UK only 35% submitted applications to Oxford University, with only 16.7% going to receive offers (compared to a 25.3% success rate of their White counterparts). If we focus on black students at state-comprehensive schools (the overwhelming majority of black students in the UK) the figures become drastically lower. Since Oxford ACS lauched the AAC in 2013, the percentage of black students admitted to Oxford has increased from 1.1% to 1.9%. Although we are happy of the progress we know that more needs to be done, particularly for the black students at state-comprehensive schools that are still being left behind.
While these figures shouldn’t be taken at face value, they reflect an unfortunate reality: for many students of African and Caribbean heritage, the idea of applying to Oxford is one that often feels alien and unattainable. Throughout their educational lives black students from disadvantaged backgrounds have been told, both directly and indirectly, that Oxford isn’t for ‘people like them’.
The AAC is our way of challenging that narrative.
The AAC Philosophy…
There’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ Oxford student. Diversity in higher education is a significant issue but we don’t believe in coaching students to conform to some Oxford stereotype. All students have unique cultural and social experiences that can contribute value to the academic institutions they join. the AAC shows black students that their backgrounds are a strength to be celebrated and leveraged, as opposed to a weakness to be diluted and dismissed.
The AAC Experience…
The AAC is more than a conference, it’s an interactive community. Every student is given access to a mentor from Oxford ACS in the lead up to the conference to ensure that our combination of panels, subject sessions and insightful talks are tailored to create the unparalled, highly-personalised experience at the centre of the AAC’s success. Each session is structured to give students the opportunity to ask open questions and actively shape the conversation throughout the day.
Wait there’s more! Our engagement doesn’t end with the conference. We run exclusive application workshops for attendees throughout the summer break to ensure that they are able to put the tools they gain during the conference to effective use.
We want to make sure that everyone that joins the AAC community feels the support of Oxford ACS’s comprehensive support system.