UPDATE 17/08/20: Following today’s announcement by Ofqual that awarded A Level grades will revert to those recommended by teachers, we are pleased to be able to confirm the places of any outstanding offer-holders on this basis. We are currently in contact with every individual whose place was not initially confirmed following the release of A-level results.
Hertford College has a long tradition of promoting equality of opportunity, and improving access for students from disadvantaged groups. We are alert to the concerns raised by members of our community and beyond about the way exam grades have been awarded this year, as well as the disproportionate impact these mechanisms may have had on the most disadvantaged candidates.
Despite the extraordinary circumstances, we’re pleased to say that most of our offer holders did meet the conditions of their offers. We congratulate them on their achievements and very much look forward to welcoming them to the college this autumn.
Since candidates’ results were made available to universities, we have been busy looking into the individual cases of those students who were not awarded the grades they expected. We are very aware that some of these students are from educational or socio-economic backgrounds that are particularly disadvantaged and recent events have exacerbated their situation. In line with other colleges across the University, we’ve therefore considered many different pieces of information in addition to exam grades before reaching a final decision. In addition to teachers’ references, school and socio-economic contexts, we have been able to make judgements on written work, admissions tests and performance at interview, whilst also considering any other mitigating circumstances.
In October 2020, we will welcome our largest undergraduate fresher cohort in recent times, and 81% of our UK students will be joining us from state schools and colleges. In addition, more than 60% of our UK freshers this year come from educationally and/or socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. More detail about Oxford admissions – including individual college and course statistics and the metrics used to assess disadvantage – can be found in the University’s annual admissions statistical releases.
Because we have admitted more students, and with the constraints of current social distancing requirements and the need to create ‘household bubbles’, we currently have more confirmed Hertford students than bedrooms available. We are working hard to resolve this issue so that we will be able to accommodate all our freshers by October. We are looking forward to welcoming all our new students and, despite the challenges of the pandemic, providing them with an enriching and challenging academic experience.