The more things change the more they remain the same

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It seems that "nutten nuh change" when it comes on to racism and stereotypes.
In this modern day and age it is disheartening to be reading stories like this one. Check it out.

More than 20 Oxbridge colleges made no offers to black candidates for undergraduate courses last year and one Oxford college has not admitted a single black student in five years, according to a report posted by the UK Guardian newspaper on its website Monday.

The Guardian story, which described the disclosure as "a bleak portrait of racial and social exclusion at Oxford and Cambridge" also said that only one black Briton of Caribbean descent was accepted for undergraduate study at Oxford last year.

"Figures revealed in requests made under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act by the Labour MP David Lammy also show that Oxford's social profile is 89 per cent upper- and middle-class, while 87.6 per cent of the Cambridge student body is drawn from the top three socioeconomic groups," the Guardian story said. "The average for British universities is 64.5 per cent, according to the admissions body Ucas."

According to the Guardian, the FoI data also show that of more than 1,500 academic and lab staff at Cambridge, none are black, while 34 are of British Asian origin.

"One Oxford college, Merton, has admitted no black students in five years -- and just three in the last decade," said the Guardian story. "Eleven Oxford colleges and 10 Cambridge colleges made no offers to black students for the academic year beginning autumn 2009."

The newspaper noted that Oxford's breakdown of its latest undergraduate admissions figures, published on its website, shows that just one black Caribbean student was accepted in 2009, out of 35 applications.

The Guardian also reported that a total of 77 students of Indian descent were accepted, out of 466 applications, and six black Caribbean under-graduates were accepted at Cambridge the same year.

"In advance of a crucial Commons vote on Thursday, ministers have said universities that want to charge students up to £9,000 a year in fees will face fresh targets on widening access to applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds," said the Guardian story. "Oxford and Cambridge, which are expected to charge the maximum fee, say they are keen to recruit the brightest students from all backgrounds. Both have programmes to encourage applications from state school students, and those from black and working-class backgrounds."

However, according to the Guardian, the FoI data show white students were more likely to be successful than black applicants at every Cambridge college except St Catharine's, where black candidates have had a 38 per cent success rate, compared with 30 per cent for white students.

"The starkest divide in Cambridge was at Newnham, an all-women's college, where black applicants had a 13 per cent success rate compared with 67 per cent for white students," the newspaper reported. "The data for Oxford tell a similar story: at Jesus College white candidates were three-and-a-half times more successful than black candidates over an 11-year period. Oxford says the figures are too low for the variation between colleges to be statistically significant."

The Guardian said that the most selective universities argued that poor attainment at school level narrows the pool from which candidates can be drawn. But black candidates are more likely to apply to elite universities.

"In 2009, more than 29,000 white students got three As or better at A-level (excluding general studies) and about 28.4 per cent applied to Oxford; while 452 black students got three As or better, and nearly half applied to Oxford," said the report.

The Guardian quoted a spokeswoman for Oxford as saying "Black students apply disproportionately for the most oversubscribed subjects, contributing to a lower than average success rate for the group as a whole: 44 per cent of all black applicants apply for Oxford's three most oversubscribed subjects, compared with just 17 per cent of all white applicants. That means nearly half of black applicants are applying for the same three subjects... the three toughest subjects to get places in. Those subjects are economics and management, medicine, and maths with seven per cent of white applicants. This goes a very long way towards explaining the group's overall lower success rate."
According to the Guardian, Berkeley also argued that black students do not lack aspiration, but the opportunity to get into the most prestigious universities. "Of the black Caribbean students getting straight As at A-level, the vast majority apply to Oxbridge.... those who do choose to apply have a much lower success rate [than white applicants]. One in five, in comparison with one in three for white students," the newspaper quoted Berkeley. "That doesn't seem to have shifted for the last 15 years."


The newspaper also quoted Matthew Benjamin, a 28-year-old who studied geography at Jesus College, Oxford, as saying: "I was very aware that I was the only black student in my year at my college. I was never made to feel out of place, but it was certainly something I was conscious of.


"When I arrived and they wanted to do a prospectus, and have some students on the cover, they chose me, and one other Asian guy and another guy from Thailand. It was clear they wanted to project this image of somewhere that was quite diverse. The reality was very different — there were three [minority] ethnic students in a year.

"On open days, some black kids would see me and say 'you're the only black person we've seen here -- is it even worth us applying?'"

A spokesman for Cambridge told the Guardian that 15 per cent of students accepted last year were from minority ethnic backgrounds. "Over the five years to 2009, entry black students accounted for 1.5 per cent of admissions to Cambridge, compared with 1.2 per cent of degree applicants nationally who secure AAA at A-level. Colleges make offers to the best and brightest students regardless of their background, and where variations exist this is due to supply of applications and demand by subject."

 

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