How to Get into Oxford As an Indian Student (2022)

Global Ed


Thinking of applying to Oxford? In this article we will be looking at:

  • Oxford University – What you need to Know
    • Getting into Oxford
    • How is Oxford Structured?
    • The Oxford-Cambridge Connection
  • Why Study at Oxford as an Indian Student?
  • How much does it cost to study at Oxford?
    • Scholarship Options for Students from India
  • What are the Eligibility Criteria?
    • Undergraduate Study
    • Graduate Study
  • How to Get Admission to Oxford from India

Did you know?


Oxford University has been the alma mater of over 70 Nobel laureates from Erwin Shrödinger to Roger Penrose, from T.S. Eliot to V.S. Naipaul, and from John Hicks to Amartya Sen to name a few. Albert Einstein, in 1931 worked out the calculations of the size, density, and age of the universe on the humble Oxford blackboard. And guess what, his work is still preserved in the university’s History of Science Museum.

Oxford University, for most people, needs no introduction. One of the most prestigious and premier educational institutions in the world, Oxford is known for its quality of education. One of the top universities ranking fourth in the world, according to QS Rankings, the university has maintained its historical legacy from as early as 1096, all the way to 2022.


Getting into Oxford


For many international students, the sheer legacy of the University of Oxford can become a hurdle when applying to universities abroad. How many times have you caught yourself thinking “There is no way I will get in at Oxford” or “Do I deserve a place there?”?

And we say, do not sell yourself short. The doors of the world open up for you when you graduate with the mark of endorsement from the University of Oxford. You stand just as much a chance as anyone else. The acceptance rate at Oxford is about 17.5% which is far higher compared to Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and other Ivy League Universities.

That said, the application and selection process can be quite rigorous and complex to follow precisely. It is certainly not an easy process to do it by yourself. If you are looking for precise, clear information on applying to Oxford University, this blog post is a great place to begin. We, at TC Global, have gotten students into Oxford before and are sharing the wisdom from our experience with you. Feel free to reach out to us through tcglobal.com if you have more queries.

For now, keep reading if you have Oxford fever…


How is Oxford structured?


If you are wondering how this university functions, look no further… The University of Oxford is the overarching governing body. It has thirty-nine colleges and six permanent private halls. The colleges and PPHs are autonomous entities affiliated with the universities. Earlier, a college in Oxford simply meant houses of residence. But today, colleges play a substantial role in teaching students, especially at the undergraduate level. These are smaller modules or tutorials that build a student’s academic profile. The larger lectures, examinations, and labs are conducted by the university directly.

The Oxford-Cambridge Connection

It is almost impossible to talk about Oxford without bringing up Cambridge in the same thought. Did you know that Cambridge University was set up by a group of run-away Oxford scholars? In the year 1209, disputes between the students at Oxford and the townspeople had escalated. Some of the academics were forced to flee the northeast and settled in the town of Cambridge. Soon, they established an institution which grew to be the University of Cambridge.

Considering their shared roots, their presence in history, shared characteristics, and superior intellectual status, they are often referred to by a portmanteau of their names. Oxford and Cambridge become Oxbridge. The Oxbridge tag screams high intelligence, academic superiority, and a shared sense of community of living amidst thousands of international students. One can say with certainty that your exposure and learning at any of the Oxbridge campuses will be well-rounded.


Why Study at Oxford as an Indian student?


The Oxbridge academic ecosystem has proven time and time again that it can produce some of the best thinkers in the world. So it comes as no surprise that thousands apply every year to mold themselves into future leaders. Their centuries of experience also means that the universities are constantly evolving, creating cutting-edge research, working towards student satisfaction, and building an immense network of connections. That said, what Cambridge and the University of Oxford stand most renowned for is their iconic teaching method.

The Oxford Tutorial System

The resources at the university are so immense that they can provide for the Oxford Tutorial. It is essentially a system wherein two or three students sit together with a subject expert for typically an hour, every week and discuss the topic at hand. This allows the student to clarify issues, explore new ideas, gain perspectives and think. No student can go to these meetings unprepared. It is an equal exchange of ideas, building knowledge and confidence in students.

Smaller Classes

The tutorial system also means that the size of the class is very small. You learn more and faster. You can also expect personalised feedback that builds critical thinking and idea generation. Except for a few lectures, you can typically expect a class size of 5- 20 students.

Access to Resources

Considering the history of the University of Oxford, the amount of resources that Indian students will have access to is simply unimaginable. The libraries of Oxford are considered some of the best in the world. In addition to physical or online material, the Oxford name attracts numerous scholars, scientists, and pioneers in their fields from across the world. In addition to their physical library, the access to human libraries at Oxford is immense.

Global Visibility

Given the reputation of the university, and the work ethic it builds, it comes as no surprise that top global employers are waiting in line to hire graduates from Oxbridge. The career guidance service at the university is also unparalleled with top recruiters seeking out graduates.

Build a strong work ethic

For all the amenities and privileges that Oxford offers you, it does expect one big thing in return – a strong work ethic. You will be in for a rude surprise if you think that it will be easy once you get in. The essays you turn in must be original and well researched; you must be prepared for the tutorial sessions and slog for the final exams. Expect a lot of written work. Your academic ability will be pushed to the edge but, all of this effort is absolutely worth it because you will emerge the best version of yourself.

Immense networking opportunities

In addition to your coursework, you also have a number of societies to get involved with. So, with your course work, societies, and your social life, the opportunities for meeting people and building both personal and professional relationships are endless.

Build critical thinking skills

Irrespective of the field that you are in, if you have moved from schooling in India to learning at Oxford, you will find yourself on a track that forces you to think and analyse situations critically. Your problem-solving abilities will develop, making you one of the best to handle crisis situations.


How much does it cost to study in Oxford for an Indian Student?


The level of education and exposure you get at Oxford, plus the reputation that precedes it, also means that being an international student at Oxford University cannot be described as “affordable”. As an overseas student, you will be paying anywhere between £27,840 and £39,010 annually, for typical undergraduate courses. If you are pursuing clinical medicine or any of the medical courses, your fees will be higher since the program in itself extends for about 6 years. The annual fees of graduate programs are significantly higher as well.

Here’s a ballpark figure, in rupees. (This is subject to change based on conversion rates also.)

COURSE DURATION ANNUAL FEES in RUPEES
B.A. / B.Sc 3 – 4 years 28 – 35 lakhs
BBA 3 years 32 lakhs
B.E. / B.Tech 4 years 37 – 40 lakhs
MBA 12 months 60 – 65 lakhs
MBBS 6 years 37 lakhs
M.A. / M.S. / MSc 9 – 36 months 25 – 40 lakhs

Disclaimer: These are ballpark figures to give you an idea so that you can prepare your financial planning.


Scholarship options for students from India


While the numbers here can be disheartening for some, there is a solution – Scholarships. A multitude of options is available, especially for Indian students, provided by the government, universities, and other trust funds. Some of these scholarships not only cover tuition but also the cost of living and travel.

The following are some of the scholarships, particularly suited for Indian students.

1. Oxford & Cambridge Society of India
It is open to Indian students pursuing an undergraduate program, a graduate program, or a Ph.D.

2. The Commonwealth Scholarship & Fellowship Plan
This fellowship is open to English-speaking candidates who have not turned 40. Open to both Science and Humanities disciplines, academic achievement is the criteria to win this one.

3. Rhodes Scholarships
One of the most prestigious scholarships worldwide, it is typically awarded to five Indian students. Academic excellence is the primary criterion. It covers the tuition fees plus offers a monthly stipend.

4. Chevening Scholarships
Meant for postgraduate and doctoral students, outstanding candidates who show good leadership skills are eligible for this scholarship. It partially funds Master’s and Ph.D. programs.

5. Felix Scholarships
The Felix scholarships are meant for Indian citizens who are below 30 years of age. It covers tuition, cost of living, and travel to and from India.

6.Oxford Weidenfeld & Hoffmann Scholarships
This one is open to students from India who are enrolled in Master’s programs at Oxford University.

Applying for a scholarship does mean more research and paperwork but anything that eases the financial burden of being an international student, particularly at the University of Oxford is a welcome opportunity. And remember, these are just some of the opportunities listed above. Start your application process early so you have enough time to figure out the scholarships as well.

What are the Eligibility Criteria?

One of your first steps is knowing the eligibility requirement and preparing for it accordingly. There are some specific requirements that may differ from one course to another. You can look them up, here. However, there are certain general criteria that you need to qualify for, before even considering applying to the University of Oxford. Let us take a look.

For Undergraduate Admissions

1. Academic Subject-Specific Requirements: What Oxford wants is a minimum qualification of 10 + 2.

If you have studied in the IB (International Baccalaureate) system, then you will know the A-level exams and the A*, A grading scheme. There are three groups of courses at Oxford. The first requires A*A*A. The second set is A*AA and the third AAA.

Let us translate those admission requirements into CBSE and CISCE (ISC) standards.

IB CBSE ISC
A*A*A Grades A1 A1 A1 A1 A2, with grade A1 in any subjects relevant to the course applied for. Overall grade of at least 90%, with 95% or above in four subjects (including any relevant to the course applied for) and 85% or above in the fifth subject.
A*AA Grades A1 A1 A1 A2 A2, with grade A1 in any subjects relevant to the course applied for. Overall grade of 90% or more, with grades of at least 95% or above in three subjects (including any relevant to the course applied for) and 85% or above in the other two subjects.
AAA Grades A1 A1 A2 A2 A2, with grade A1 in any subjects relevant to the course applied for. Overall grade of 90% or more, with grades of at least 95% or above in two subjects (including any relevant to the course applied for) and 85% or above in the other three subjects.

Note: Oxford University does not accept or consider State Board Exams.

2. English Language Proficiency: Besides your high school certificates, the next essential requirement is proof of your English language proficiency test. The University of Oxford accepts TOEFL, IELTS, and the Cambridge Tests. Depending on the course that you are applying to, you need to either take up the standard level or show proof of higher English proficiency.

  • Standard Level
    • IELTS – Overall score of 7.0 with at least 6.5 in every section.
    • TOEFL – Overall score of 100. The minimum score in each section should be 22 in listening, 24 in reading, 25 in speaking, and 24 in writing.
    • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English) / CPE (Cambridge Certificate for Proficiency in English) – Overall Score of 185 with a minimum of 176 in each section.
  • Higher Level Proficiency
    • IELTS – Total score of 7.5 with 7.0 in every component.
    • TOEFL: Total score of 110 with 22 in listening, 24 in reading, 25 in speaking, and 24 in writing.
    • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English) / CPE (Cambridge Certificate for Proficiency in English) – Overall Score of 191 with a minimum score of 185 in each component.

3. Other Requirements

  • Your SAT/ ACT or other standardised test scores which are subject-specific.
  • Some courses in the university have entrance admission tests. Give yourself enough time to prepare for it and apply for it at the earliest.
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP) and/ or academic essays that will be evaluated along with your application. Your written work will be scrutinised thoroughly.
  • Letters of recommendation (LORs). Both SOP and LOR need to be in the university-prescribed format.

For Graduate and Postgraduate Courses

If you are applying to Oxford University for a Master’s program or higher, these are the criteria that you need to satisfy.

1. Academic Subject-Specific Requirements: Your graduate course at Oxford might require one of the two: “first class undergraduate degree with honours” or “strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours”.

If it is a first class undergraduate degree with honours, you will need a professional bachelor’s degree (4 years) from a recognised institution with an overall grade of 65% for degrees awarded by prestigious institutions (Institutions of National Importance), or 75% for degrees awarded by other institutions; or 3.5 out of 4.0, 5.5 out of 7.0, 6.5 out of 8.0 or 8.5 out of 10.0.
a standard bachelor’s degree (3 years) from a recognised institution with an overall grade of 70% for degrees awarded by prestigious institutions (Institutions of National Importance), or 75% for degrees awarded by other institutions.

If it is a strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours, you will need a professional bachelor’s degree (4 years) from a recognised institution with an overall grade of 60% for degrees awarded by prestigious institutions (Institutions of National Importance), or 70% for degrees awarded by other institutions; or a cumulative GPA of 3.3 out of 4.0, 5.0 out of 7.0, 6.0 out of 8.0 or 8.0 out of 10.0; or a standard bachelor’s degree (3 years) from a recognised institution with an overall grade of 65% for degrees awarded by prestigious institutions (Institutions of National Importance), or 70% for degrees awarded by other institutions.

Source: University of Oxford, Graduate Admissions

2. English Language Requirements: The same English language proficiency skills apply, as in the undergraduate level.

Standard Level

  • IELTS – Overall score of 7.0 with at least 6.5 in every section.
  • TOEFL – Overall score of 100. The minimum score in each section should be 22 in listening, 24 in reading, 25 in speaking, and 24 in writing.
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English) / CPE (Cambridge Certificate for Proficiency in English) – Overall Score of 185 with a minimum of 176 in each section.

Higher Level Proficiency

  • IELTS – Total score of 7.5 with 7.0 in every component.
  • TOEFL: Total score of 110 with 22 in listening, 24 in reading, 25 in speaking, and 24 in writing.
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English) / CPE (Cambridge Certificate for Proficiency in English) – Overall Score of 191 with a minimum score of 185 in each component.

3. Other Requirements

  • Your GRE/ GMAT or other standardised test scores are subject-specific.
  • The university entrance exam, if applicable.
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP) and/ or academic essays will be evaluated along with your application form. Your personal statement must be carefully drafted, keeping in mind the format prescribed by the university. It must be original, well-written, and carefully edited. It is your personal statement that will make you stand out among the thousands of other applicants.
  • Letters of recommendation (LORs). Both SOP and LOR need to be in the university-prescribed format.
  • Certificates of work experience relevant to the course you are applying to.

How to Apply To Any University in the UK


Every application to the UK has to be submitted through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service)

There are two ways to do your research. You can begin with the university website, collate all your data, and then and send in your UCAS application before the October 15 application deadline (you’ll need to make an account with UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Ideally, you should begin your work sometime in March-April and get it all in order by September, including the documents you will need for applying for the student visa and scholarships.

You can, of course, choose the easier path and onboard with TC Global to do all the research and get guidance. Here is how simple the process can get, with TC Global. From your research to your UCAS application to your student visa, TC Global will guide you through it all.

Step 1: Log in to the TC Global Student Portal

Visit www.tcglobal.com and “Get Started”.

 

Step 2: Update your Profile

Once you have logged in, update your profile, especially your Education and Work background and your Study Plans. This will help us tailor-fit our recommendations for you.

Step 3: Choose your Universities and Courses

This step is what makes your life simpler, for all the information that you need is collated in one place. Choose the country/ countries you would like to be in, your specialisation, and what degree it is that you are looking for. If you do not have all the information yet, you can simply key in the course and start filtering it down. If you are the kind who knows precisely what you want, you can narrow the filters using many criteria, such as which intake, which English proficiency test, and so on.

Step 4: Read up and Shortlist

The website will give you the top options, keeping in mind your profile and your preferences. Click on any of the universities and get an overview in one go. All of these are accessible to anyone, for free. All you need to do is sign up.

Step 5: Read more on Insights

Check out https://tcglobal.com/insights/ . It is a repository of data about different courses, career options, student life in different countries, and so on. Plus, it comes with an easy search option for you to specifically look for our research on any of the countries or courses.

It is important for you to look into each of the courses, in addition to just knowing the specialisation. Insights might just be the place that will give you insights into how each of the universities designs their courses.

Step 6: Schedule a Session and Apply

Once you have all the information that you need and have shortlisted all the courses, you begin the application process. You can schedule a meeting with one of our Relationship Members. From here on in, it will not be a bot assisting you but an experienced member of our team who will guide you through the process of applying to all your shortlisted universities. Your TC Global Student portal will help you with deadlines, checklists, tests, and a one-shot platform to monitor all your applications’ progress. Besides, our RM will be with you every step of the way.  Look out for the dates they open applications and begin to gear yourself a year in advance, with TC Global.

To the UK, we go…

Now that you know the process, Oxford or any other university in the UK is within reach. Look out for the dates they open applications and begin to gear yourself a year in advance, with TC Global.



Date added
31.08.2022

Filed under:

Global Ed

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