The Telegraph is reporting that top universities don’t admit enough white children.
Last year, 34 per cent of British Asian girls poor enough to qualify for free school meals went to university, and 19 per cent of black boys of similar poverty. For poor white boys, it was 9 per cent; their sisters did little better. That 9 per cent figure is horrific, a mark of shame for a society that likes to think itself free and open and at least somewhat meritocratic.
Some adults with no experience of higher education naturally struggle to explain its merits to their children – especially when it comes with a five-figure price tag. Others just can’t bear the thought of their kids moving away from the place their family has called home for generations.
There are wider social questions too, about the role models we offer the young. Many Asian children, poor and rich alike, want to be like the Asian doctors and lawyers and business people they see on the screen and in real life. If you see a successful white working-class man on your television, the odds are he’s a footballer.
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