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Viewpoint: The Future Is Female at Oxford University

Goals are being achieved at the oldest English speaking university in the world.

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As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is one rich in history. Countless notable alumni consist include comedians, poets, philosophers, and world leaders.

The distinguished school has made another recent milestone with their freshman class — women outnumber men applying to University of Oxford. This really shows some impressive steps towards educational equality.

Women were first able to attend Oxford in 1879 when Lady Margaret Hall opened exclusively for women. Women were able to attend lectures but could not obtain a formal Oxford degree. Following this, women were given full membership to Oxford in 1920.

Oxford’s colleges did not start to become co-educational institutions until 1974 when five all male colleges began accepting women. All of Oxford’s affiliated colleges became co-educational in 2008 when its final all-women college (St. Hilda’s College) began accepting men.

This year, women have been applying to the University of Oxford in record numbers. According to sources, Oxford’s freshman class from the fall of 2017 totaled 1070 females compared to 1025 men. While the application numbers for men and women was the same, more women chose to attend.

A spokesperson from Oxford told The Guardian, ““While it’s too early to call this a trend based on one year’s numbers, it is a welcome sign of progress for female applicants to Oxford.”

While this trend can certainly be found at other colleges and universities throughout the English-speaking world, the fact that one of the most prestigious Universities is following the trend speaks volumes: Women are not only achieving higher rates of education, but are earning higher rates of top-tier quality education.

Some of these women may very well become the next notable alumni of the University of Oxford.

Data on admissions can be found through the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS).

Nicole Masaki is a current student at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York and is graduating in May 2018. She is a triple major in English, Environmental Studies, and Philosophy.

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