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Posted on behalf of Dr Nick Brown, Sponsor, Graduate Admissions Project, and Principal, Linacre College

We are looking for your suggestions about how the graduate admissions process can be improved.

As you may be aware, graduate students represent almost 50% of the student population. Given the international competition to attract the best students and the growing number of applicants for graduate study each year, it is more important than ever that we operate an effective and efficient graduate admissions process. 

That is why we have launched the Graduate Admissions Challenge, providing those people involved with this process across the collegiate University with the opportunity to improve what we do and how we do it. This initiative is part of the Focus Programme (, a broad programme of activity to improve the way in which support services are delivered.

What we are looking for

We would like to invite you to submit suggestions about how the current graduate admissions process – including associated processes, such as scholarship competitions and accommodation – can be improved. We are interested in ideas relating to all aspects of the process – whether big or small – and welcome suggestions that would benefit applicants, decision makers, funding providers or administrators. In particular, we would like to canvass ideas about how we can:

  • Improve the applicant experience, particularly by reducing delay, complexity and uncertainty during the admissions process
  • Contribute to a faster and simpler process overall
  • Improve the admissions process for academic assessors
  • Promote a joined-up process across the University and colleges

Ideas relating to graduate admissions that were contributed during the previous Academic Administration Challenge in November 2017 will automatically be considered. These include: simplification of the graduate application file; online decision-making for assessors; online applications for visiting and recognised students; and the waiver of transcript requirements for current and former Oxford students. You can find out more about the Academic Administration Challenge here.

How to take part

To put forward your suggestions for improvement, please visit the Graduate Admissions Challenge page on the Oxford Ideas online platform. It will be open for contributions until 15 July, and you can use the platform to submit suggestions and to view and comment on ideas put forward by colleagues. All submissions and comments will be reviewed to help inform priority areas to take forward.