The Sunday Times is reporting new government figures that show students from ethnic minority backgrounds now make up two-thirds of the intake at some English universities.
The HESA data suggests white British students are now the minority in about 10% of institutions. In some subjects more than 70% of students are from ethnic minority backgrounds (including business, pharmacy and science-related courses).
Universities mentioned in the report include the University of East London (with 65% of students from ethnic minorities), London Metropolitan (62%), and Middlesex (56%) with Aston University and Bradford also said to have a minority of white British students.
The Sunday Times notes that the figures have emerged shortly after the publication of a study from the IFS that found white British pupils are the least likely to attend university and figures from a separate Oxford University/Sutton Trust study reported the number of white working class boys taking AS or A-levels as ‘shockingly low’.
Despite this, the paper reports, some universities – including King’s College London – are setting targets to increase their intake of ethnic minority students. However, it also notes that London Metropolitan has launched a new project aimed at widening access amongst white working class boys. Likewise, City University has decided that “white working-class males” will now be eligible for its outreach programmes, and Edge Hill University has pledged to raise the proportion of young, white working-class men at the same rate as black and minority ethnic students.
The paper also notes the proportion of white British pupils at some of the country’s best state schools, including grammars and free schools, is falling too.
More at: White students in minority at many colleges (subscription may be required)
This is a great success story for the achievements of young people from ethnic minority backgrounds that should surely be applauded, but does it also reinforce a concern that we now have to address what is happening to white working class young people, especially males?
Or is it fair enough that if they don’t have the same sense of aspiration then that’s ultimately their choice?
Let us know what you think in the comments below or via Twitter.
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