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    We can all play this statistical dance with accusations and counter accusations but the elephant in the room is that the privileged elite have a massive advantage during admissions processes at top universities. They talk the talk, walk the walk and are often from the same cultural background as their admissions tutors (especially at Oxford and Cambridge). Representatives from Oxbridge are charging around defending accusations of active discrimination because they know they can't defend an education system that is rotten to the core and is set up to perpetuate class division and the elite.

    However, around 225 black students applied to study at Oxbridge with the required grades and their admission rate is near zero. The arguments that I have seen to wish this unpalatable statistic away rely on significant layering of effects such as poor A-level choice, bad interview performance, applying for the most competitive subjects, etc., etc.. Of course this could be the case, but it seems rather an eloborate defence to me that starts to border on what is really credible to achieve such a low acceptance rate as pretty much every black student would have to fall into all those categories simultaneously.

    Oxford and Cambridge appear to want it both ways - they crow about all they do to improve access, but when the stats show that their efforts aren't working (if they actually make them) then they sit back and say 'well we are just a passive recipient of candidates produced by an education system that is at fault elsewhere and there is little we can do'. My suggestion is that the leadership of these two universities have different priorities and are only paying lip-service to improving access.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    We can all play this statistical dance with accusations and counter accusations but the elephant in the room is that the privileged elite have a massive advantage during admissions processes at top universities. They talk the talk, walk the walk and are often from the same cultural background as their admissions tutors (especially at Oxford and Cambridge). Representatives from Oxbridge are charging around defending accusations of active discrimination because they know they can't defend an education system that is rotten to the core and is set up to perpetuate class division and the elite.

    However, around 225 black students applied to study at Oxbridge with the required grades and their admission rate is near zero. The arguments that I have seen to wish this unpalatable statistic away rely on significant layering of effects such as poor A-level choice, bad interview performance, applying for the most competitive subjects, etc., etc.. Of course this could be the case, but it seems rather an eloborate defence to me that starts to border on what is really credible to achieve such a low acceptance rate as pretty much every black student would have to fall into all those categories simultaneously.
    What are the required grades? Also, you realise that East Asians and Indians are overrepresented per population?
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    (Original post by Chi019)
    What are the required grades? Also, you realise that East Asians and Indians are overrepresented per population?
    I don't know, I'm only quoting a representative from Oxford who wrote in The Guardian. As for racial representation, I'm not actually that interested in it beyond it being a proxy for socio-economic grouping - which is far more important in this issue and I think it neatly explains the differences between the success rate of different racial groups. It isn't really about the colour of your skin, but that doesn't make it any less of an injustice. Oxbridge can't carry the whole of the blame of this, but everyone should be doing their part and I'm not sure that they really are.
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    My initial thoughts were that the Guardian couldn't possibly be serious in pretending that the lack of black students admitted to Oxbridge was anything to do with race. What about Middle Eastern people, Asian people, Hispanic people, Scandinavian people? Or do they not fit the "Oxbridge is elitist/ racist/ socialist" trend?

    Then after reading this article (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...om-oxbridge.do) I re-evaluated my stance for a moment, because surely if more black applicants are applying, you would see evidence of that in the actual admissions rates.

    But now I've reverted to my former opinion. If Oxbridge want only the very best, then it would be self-defeating to be doing what the Guardian purports. And surely with the publication of the article, we will only see more black people shunning Oxbridge, more critics twisting the knife in. It might just turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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    What on earth is he doing with his hand? :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    Afro-Caribbean men have the lowest literacy and maths scores, from this its not suprising many do not go onto oxbridge. The uni does not even know the race so its got nothing to do with that.


    I love that this is getting negs despite I did not actually say anything racist.
    I'm sure that there was a study to say that white < Working class boys did the worst in the education sector. And also had one of the highest NEETS(Not in Education, Employment, or Training.) rates in the UK.

    P.s. Universities know what colour you are because most people tick the ethnicity box stating it. So discriminating against heritage could be a plausible argument. Whether it's true is another matter.
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    Aha black people are so dumb.
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    (Original post by River85)
    No they don't and this has been covered: -



    They ask for your ethnic background, social class (profession of head of household) and whether you have a disability or not. This was certainly the case back in my day. Been a few years now.

    This is for statistical purposes and, in the case of disability, to allow universities to "track" disabled students and inform them of support when the time comes. It wasn't given to the universities until after decisions have been made.
    Oh ok thank you! Clearly the problem doesn't lie with the universities themselves then
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    (Original post by CoffeeStinks)
    I'm sure that there was a study to say that white < Working class boys did the worst in the education sector. And also had one of the highest NEETS(Not in Education, Employment, or Training.) rates in the UK.

    P.s. Universities know what colour you are because most people tick the ethnicity box stating it. So discriminating against heritage could be a plausible argument. Whether it's true is another matter.
    No white working class boys came second to last from the latest study that I heard.

    I highly doubt that it has anything to do with race tbh. No admissions tutor is going to put their job on line at one of the worlds best universities just to avoid giving offers to certain races.
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    There are two ways of looking at this data, perhaps not enough black students applied or made the grade, or maybe the colleges are racist ??
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    I thought this was actually the more significant statistic

    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.
    And then take this into consideration

    In 2009, more than 29,000 white students got three As or better at A-level (excluding general studies) and about 28.4% applied to Oxford; while 452 black students got three As or better
    For every 64 white students that earned three A's or better, there was one only black student that could match the grades. So why are people screaming institutionalised racism? This has nothing to do with Universities. It's those in the black community that should be reading these figures with horror.
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    (Original post by mummyperson)
    Miss Scarlett and others- now I am not saying that Oxford is racist - but I do think it is possible that subtle changes in tone of voice, non verbal behaviour and underlying expectations of performance can alter a panellists' behaviour and therefore a candidates' response. I also think it possible that some undergraduate tutors, like many schoolteachers (as research has demonstrated) may simply not register an excellent answer from a black person in an interview setting. As to only certain subjects being applied for, I think this interesting. I was allowed to love English Literature because my original schooling was not in England. My son was treated like a cretin at his English school in a way which to this day I think is criminal (he is gifted and talented etc)- because any non white expressing a love of language simply was not heard to the same extent. I protested of course and may have helped to change the attitude.

    I stick with my original post...
    I'm not saying there is NO judgement based on skin colour, I do not work at Oxford on the admissions board, so I cannot know that. But I do think that they would accept the students they felt best suited to their schools and I genuinely don't think skin colour would be a part of that. I expect it involves academic intelligence, outside interests, devotion to learning and manners amongst other things.
    No offence here, this is not an attack on you, I do not know you- but I think you could majorly generalise that black people are always a little bit too eager to drop the 'it's cos I'm black' bombshell or complain that they cannot do something/are not given whatever opportunity, just because of their skin colour. Which is not usually the case!
    You don't really see people with other skin colours complaining in this way or claiming that they feel discriminated against when perhaps they aren't being discriminated against. Just an opinion, it may be right or it may not be.
    Just something to think about.
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    (Original post by Miss_Scarlet)
    IYou don't really see people with other skin colours complaining in this way or claiming that they feel discriminated against when perhaps they aren't being discriminated against.
    Of course they do. All the ****ing time. Just read the H&R forum. Sure, they may not think they are being discriminated against because of the colour of their skin, but rather because of their weight, height, hair color, looks, manner of speaking, hobbies, etc. and, most importantly, of course, FACEBOOK STATUS. People of every race, gender and religious persuasion will take anything and everything personally and take any opportunity to whinge about the "unfairness" of life. There is no exception to this. It's pathetic but human nature. (Myself included of course, and I love them really.)

    That said..

    I think black and working class applicants may be more likely to think they are discriminated against because of their race or class because social stigma and prejudice attached to their ethnic or social group is very prevalent and that in the first place makes it more likely that they could be discriminated against because of this stigma.

    An admission tutor evaluating a black applicant or a working class applicant as not good enough could come to that decision because, indeed, the applicant is not good enough. Or it could be that the admission tutor, no doubt subconsciously influenced by reports of underperformance of this or that ethnic group or social class, subconsciously evaluates a person from such a group differently from a white middle-class person. Subconsciously being key here because it means that it affects the evaluation even if the admissions tutor honestly believes he's just selecting for the best traits. And I am sure most admissions tutors honestly do think that and do not consciously harbor racist or classist thoughts.

    I don't think there is active racism or classism at Oxbridge (that is, there probably is, but probably not more or less than anywhere else). But discrimination can be really subtle and even involuntary. Just look at all the people on this thread arguing "the black Oxbridge applicants were not good enough because black boys underperform at school". This is a logical fallacy based on subconscious prejudice: All the applicants were predicted three As, therefore they clearly did not underperform at school, so why do so many people here, people who know nothing about these applicants except that they were predicted three As and are black, automatically assume it makes sense that they would be more likely to fail on other selection criteria than other applicants?


    Edit: also see http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/colum...dge-whitewash/
    e.g.
    In year 6, all pupils must take external examinations, which are blind marked by someone who does not know the child, thus eliminating racial bias. At the same time, teachers also assess the children in their class. According to a study by Bristol University, between 2001/2 – 2004/5, teacher assessments of Black Caribbean students were 5.6 points below their ‘blind’ SATs results. This figure was 6.4 points for Black African students, almost double that of the difference between teacher assessments and SATs for white students, which stood at 3.3 points.

    (...)

    Warwick University also investigated teacher bias by observing the proportion of Black Caribbean pupils who are entered for higher tier maths and sciences tests at age 14. Being entered for higher tier allows a student to be awarded as high as an A*, whereas being entered for foundation means the highest possible mark is a C. They found that for every three white British pupils entered for higher tier, only two Black Caribbean pupils, with the same prior attainment, were entered.
    I doubt these teachers are actively racist. Yet they assess black pupils' academic ability far lower than their actual academic ability.
    If this happens in schools to such an extent I do not see why it could not happen in Oxbridge interviews.
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    One Thing i am sick of more than anything else is all this bloody equal representation mumbo jumbo!!!!!!!!! Nobody thinks about race these days apart from these lefties(lets not count the bnp cos they really are nothing).

    positive discrimination is just as bad as negative!! and i hate it when people think for for places in a job or at uni, 4 places should go to 4 different races!! when it is anything but fair!!!

    Best person gets the place simple as!!! If races arnt equally represented in the country, then is cos its still 92.5% white according to the last census. so the other 7.2% includes indians, paskistanis, latinos and even pacific islanders so if you see less black people in higher education then that is probs the reason!!!!!! theres less than 1 in 10!!

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/meg1202.pdf look at this
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    I don't know, I'm only quoting a representative from Oxford who wrote in The Guardian. As for racial representation, I'm not actually that interested in it beyond it being a proxy for socio-economic grouping - which is far more important in this issue and I think it neatly explains the differences between the success rate of different racial groups. It isn't really about the colour of your skin, but that doesn't make it any less of an injustice. Oxbridge can't carry the whole of the blame of this, but everyone should be doing their part and I'm not sure that they really are.
    But socio-economic grouping is also partially explained by ability. As Greg Mankiw explained in context of US SAT results:

    1. People vary in their innate talents, as measured by, say, IQ tests.

    2. More talented people tend to earn higher incomes.

    3. More talented people tend to have more talented biological children--that is, talent is partially heritable.

    4. As a logical implication of the above three points, the raw correlation of kids' SAT scores and family income conflates the true effects of family income with the biological transmission of talent.
    http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2009/...ng-boring.html

    And ethnic groups vary in average levels of academic ability as predicted by years of psychometric testing. These predict that Ashkenazi jewish and East Asian students will be overrepresented.

    June 2005 issue of Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 11, No. 2.

    www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/30years/ -
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    I've not been following this thread, but in case it's not already been posted, Oxford's (reasonable!) defence: http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/behind_the...es/101307.html

    The thing that upsets me most about the article are just the mistruths, let alone the dodgy inferences drawn from dodgy statistics. I'm currently at Merton, the college claimed to have only accepted 5 black students in the past ten years. There is a black fresher this year, and plenty of black grads. It seems that not disclosing your race means you don't exist - great stats there...
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    (Original post by Krebs)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...black-students
    "I'm black and applied for Law at Oxford this year. Got 5 As at AS level, near-perfect predictions far beyond what they ask for and pretty nifty GCSE grades too. Didn't even get an interview and everyone thought there was something smelly in the water. They never told me why I wasn't good enough. I would be very worried for the future and direction of our society if this is why."- a comment
    "Didn't even get an interview". Then how could Oxford know what colour he was? What a bad loser
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    (Original post by speedbird)
    &quot;Didn't even get an interview&quot;. Then how could Oxford know what colour he was? What a bad loser
    He must've bombed on his LNAT (which he naturally fails to mention).
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    I think a lot of you are missing the point. I don't think it's about the fact oxbridge are doing something wrong - they're not. The point is why are no black people good enough? Why is there such a huge clear difference in ability between races?
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    (Original post by ily_em)
    It's LAW. I'm sure there were plenty of white people with similar grades who didn't get interviewed at Oxford.

    Maybe those colleges didn't have many/any black applicants? It just happened to be that the white people who applied were better.

    Articles like this aren't going to help drive up the number of black applicants either; they're just encouraging people to not apply because they're scared of prejudice.
    Well said.

    (Original post by Margaret Thatcher)
    Yeah, let us make one of our most valued higher education institutions which thrives on accepting only the best engage in tokenism so that the Guardian doesn't bawl if it isn't diverse enough.
    Exactly. :yes:
 
 
 
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