MPs last month rounded on both institutions after new figures showed many colleges were still failing to admit significant numbers of black or mixed-race applicants. Politics Home reports.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Gyimah urged both institutions to step up and boost their outreach programmes in a bid to counter feeder schemes that give a leg-up to applicants from elite schools.
The Universities Minister also backed calls for Oxbridge to make use of so-called contextualised admissions – which lower grade requirements for those from disadvantaged backgrounds – and warned that the Office for Students watchdog could make use of “very hard levers” if the universities failed to act.
“The numbers that we are seeing now disappoint me, and it’s disappointing because it’s been going on for too long,” he said.
“I don’t think they’re doing enough…It is staggering that we have the best minds in our universities and we still do not know what the best way is when it comes to applications.”
The row came after both organisations published new admissions figures, with Cambridge’s data revealing that six of its colleges did not admit more than 10 British black or mixed-raced students over a five year period – with one failing to make a single offer.
Oxford’s figures meanwhile showed that one in four of its colleges failed to admit any black British students over a three-year period.
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