The Boy Cameron screws up

Not all that much of a surprise, I know.

David Cameron branded Oxford University \”disgraceful\” after claiming that the institution admitted only one black student in the last academic year.

For of course Oxford did not admit only one black student in the last academic year.

Senior officials at the university described the figure as \”highly misleading\” as it related only to British students who described themselves as black Caribbean. They said Oxford admitted another 27 students who described themselves as black African and another 14 who were mixed race.

The university also said that only 452 black students across the country had even achieved the A-level results demanded by Oxford to meet its minimum entry requirements for the 2009-10 academic year.

The claim about only one stems from \”research\” done by David Lammy back in December. Or here.

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.

Aye, and the overall sucess rate for everyone is something like one in 25. We\’re in the realm of small numbers here, where these sorts of differences are explanied simply by statistical variations, chance, rather than any plan or prejudice.

So, David Cameron, Prime Minister, shooting his mouth off on a subject he knows little about. A politician then.

4 comments on “The Boy Cameron screws up

  1. It’s one of the reasons why I always answer “Irrelevant” to the ethnicity question on any form I’m asked to complete.

    Affirmative action, positive discrimination or whatever you want to call it is not and never can be based on merit. Entrance to university should only ever be based on the applicant’s academic ability and not on race, colour or creed.

  2. “Aye, and the overall sucess rate for everyone is something like one in 25.”

    Not so- a video on the admissions website says about 10,000 apply and about 3,500 get in.

    Wikipedia says “Students who apply from state schools and colleges have a comparable acceptance rate to those from independent schools (25% and 32% of applicants accepted respectively, 2006).”

    The position used to be complicated by the fact that candidates could apply, fail, and then apply again after a seventh term of sixth form- eg I was an unsuccessful candidate in 1980 and a successful one in 1981.

    In those days it was about one acceptance for 2.5 candidates in each round of admissions.

  3. @ CJ Nerd
    The success rate depends on the subject – the more popular subjects get more applications. I date from a period where there was a two-stage entrance/scholarship exam and in my year there was a hundred taking the second stage of the exam (most applicants having been eliminated in the first stage) for five places to read Maths at my college. There was a much smaller number applying to read Theology (but the quality of the successful candidate was at least comparable) so the %age success rate in Theology was higher.
    Oxford said the black success rate was below average because a majority of black candidates applied for just three subjects where the ratio of candidates to places was very high.

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