The Sunday Times is reporting that David Cameron has launched an attack on the country’s top universities over ethnic discrimination.
Writing in the paper, the prime minister accused universities as well as the armed forces and leading businesses of “ingrained, institutional and insidious” attitudes that hold people back. He also accused Oxford of “not doing enough” to find places for non-white students and the poor.
In his article he goes on to demand that universities go “the extra mile” to tackle racism and class discrimination and said:
“It’s not enough to simply say you are open to all.”
“If you’re a young black man, you’re more likely to be in a prison cell than studying at a top university,”
The paper reports that David Cameron has ordered new laws to force universities to release comprehensive data about the gender and ethnic and social background of students who apply for places, the number who are given offers, how many get in and the drop-out rates.
The information would be broken down by different subject areas and by individual Oxbridge colleges. Many institutions publish only minimal information.
More at: ‘A young black man is more likely to be in prison than at a top university’ (subscription may be required)
You can read David Cameron’s article in full from the Sunday Times at: Doing justice to the young, gifted and black
Meanwhile the Guardian is reporting that Oxford University has hit back over the claims: University of Oxford rebuts Cameron’s claims over student diversity
Was David Cameron right to hit out at the universities or is he looking to score points in what is actually a very difficult situation?
The problem Oxford seems to have is getting very few black applicants in the first place. This might, at least in part, be the university’s own fault, but it also suggest it is a schools issue too.
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