19/12/2011 07:11 GMT

Oxford University Black Students Intake Up To 32

Oxford University has disclosed that the number of British black students accepted in 2011 has risen to 32 - the highest number in 10 years.

The figures emerge at a tense time, as the challenge of increasing the number of black and ethnic minority Oxbridge students continues to prove problematic.

In 2010, fewer than 1% of Oxbridge students were black.

David Cameron caused controversy in April earlier this year when he described Oxford's low intake of black students as "disgraceful".

But Sir Michael Wilshaw, incoming head of Ofsted, told The Sunday Times it was individual institutions' responsibility to encourage more black pupils to apply for places: "The statistics clearly show that schools aren't doing enough to encourage black and ethnic minority students to apply to the top universities."

This year's success rate for black students who applied to Oxford was 14%, a significant improvement on last year when only 8.8% of black candidates were successful in obtaining a place.

An Oxford University spokeswoman said the institution would "work hard to continue improving these numbers". They hinted that, in agreement with the Ofsted head, schools also needed to do more by pointing out that white pupils are twice as likely as black pupils to score three 'A' grades at A-level.