Isn’t this discrimination?

Last week, universities in England were preparing reports on how they have diversified their student populations. These reports will be submitted to the director of fair access at the Office for Students. My university, King’s College London, will report, happily, that our undergraduate intake is now 77% state school, more than 52% ethnic minority and has the fastest growing population of low-income students in the Russell Group.

52% ethnic minority is rather higher than the UK average. Even among the age cohort in London. So, why this illegal – for such is illegal – discrimination?

Hmm, what’s that? But it’s to make u for the past or summat? But English law doesn’t work that way – illegal discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity is illegal. And yes, given the way peeps talk about Oxbridge all we do need is those numbers showing out of proportion with the target population….

14 comments on “Isn’t this discrimination?

  1. Well, if King’s College London is hoarding all the university worthy ethnics, small wonder there’s not enough to go around for all the other universities.

  2. I suspect that 52% arises because of a huge proportion of high fee paying overseas students. Mostly Chinese and Indian.

  3. So you could say they’re acting against the interests of the UK people as a whole. But, as David Moore suggests, one suspects that is the point. They are, in fact, the enemy.

  4. A university degree is valued as a marker for being bright. Historically in the top 5% academically, of course not necessarily in other respects. Now 50% go to university, diluting the brand. If universities start selecting on grounds other than academic ability they will actually undermine the brand.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if a generation hence possession of a degree were regarded as meaningless.

  5. I suspect Obligato is spot on. Large proportion of overseas students. Of course this makes a nonsense of the terminology and the claim. They’re ethnic minority here but not in their home country which they will (probably) return to so wtf are you crowing about?

  6. ‘You’ of course means Anne – Marie Canning.
    They really are confused these Guardianistas aren’t they. She wants to celebrate their diversity, which is all about collecting (we’ve got one of these, and two of these and 7 of those, all in the proportions which match the uk’ s population) but actually we are sticking it to the white patriarchy by having more of these minority Han Chinese students!

  7. We know that top British Universities are known globally, and are a magnet for overseas students. We also know that China and India have massive populations, huge middle-class growth and relatively studious young people driven hard by their parents. It’s not just China and India either.

    King’s College London may well be discriminating against ethnic applicants and should be investigated immediately. Stopping just over 50% is a dead giveaway.

  8. Leaving school at 18 not 16 means GCSEs not relevant. A levels are now the new O levels, undergrad degree the new A levels. Of the 50% doing the ‘new A levels’, 15%- 20% are now getting 1st class degree so they can go and do a masters as a masters is the new undergrad degree. Funnily enough that puts the proportion of the cohort getting the new degree at about the same ratio as the old days. Be interesting to see what the state school and efnic intake is at masters level

  9. I happened to pass KCL’s kingsway campus as they were all coming out. Many, perhaps most, of them were Asian of Chinese appearance. I assumed the English kids were already bunking off.

  10. As a graduate of the Godless college at Gower St I can only say if it raises the low standards at the CoE Poly on the Strand all well and good

  11. She says that Oxbridge is progressing at a glacial speed – presumably she is required by the Grauniad to make a sneer. In fact Oxbridge has led the world for hundreds of years in providing access to talented poor students and Oxford is proactive in encouraging application from state schools.

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