This discussion is closed.
Alaric
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#41
Report 16 years ago
#41
(Original post by naelse)
I'm a black woman myself, and I have to say that the program only inspired me to work harder, to get my grades for Cambridge this august and to make things better for the next generation.

But it is true that potential black Oxbridge applicants come up to a lot of opposition. When I told my (white) ex last year that I was thinking of Cambridge, his response was "You'll definitely get in- they need black people to make up the numbers!" Frankly that idea nearly put me off completely. "Positive descrimination" is nothing but a quick-fix. I've worked hard all my life to get scholarships for private schooling etc to help me reach my goals. There's nothing more insulting than being defined by your colour or background at the end of all that. Unfortunately, too many people don't see it that way.

I thought I's get support from the black community, but I haven't. My (black) neighbour came to my flat in a blind rage because she found out I was applying to Cambridge. Apparently, I was letting black people down because "we don't belong there" and "you'll only end up marrying a white rich boy". And so what if I do??

To be honest, there's rascism on both sides and change is only going to come when both black and white people change their attitudes. It will take a long time, but I know that I'll teach my children to go for thier ambitions nomatter what anybody else tells them- and hopefully that's two or three more people in the next generation with the guts to break with tradition and stick two fingers up at the status quo.
We clearly need more people such as yourself as a role model, and I hope that you make the grades and then, as you say improve it for the next generation

Since you've come out largely against positive discrimination and have evidently worked very hard to get to the position you are currently in, I'm interested to know whether you think expected grades should be lowered on account of underpriviledged backgrounds for those who haven't got scholarships etc?? Obviously I'm not taking the opinion of your ex because if you've had a private education one can probably assume it's been good. As I've already said in the thread I'm of the opinion that that would help the intake from any educationally deprived areas, so I don't regard it as only a particular race issue, but I'm keen to know if you'd regard that as positive discrimination or a just acknowledgement of differing backgrounds? Also whether you think that would actually help intakes from marginalised groups or is there too much cultural/social feeling against such instituitions for it to have a real effect?

I must say I was a little surprised at your example of the neighbour, I'm usually fairly blind to people thinking like that, I totally don't see why coming to cambridge would be a 'letting your race down' and would have thought you'd get encouragement too. Surely equality requires intermixing and the breaking down of barriers and stereotypes rather than cultural segregation.
As for the "marrying a white rich boy", I really don't understand why people get so hung up on the issue of mixed race relationships. I mean if you are attracted to someone race isn't an issue at all. As you comment the racism is evident from both sides, hopefully you'll not find us like that in cambridge .

Ignore everyone, I'm sure you'll love it here

Alaric.
0
crana
Badges:
#42
Report 16 years ago
#42
(Original post by neildm)
It is NOT in the initiative worker's interests to encourage INADEQUATE black applicants to apply. Its in their interest to encourage applicants to apply - their abilities should follow a normal distribution. There is big difference between acceptance rates for black applicants and chinese, indian and white applicants. I don't believe racism is the cause - I think tutors will have a very hard time comprehending the different backgrounds students come from, and culture is a problem here. Bad judgement, yes. Go positive discrimination! Abilities are normally distributed, and while I do think access organisations have a long way to go to get larger numbers of students to apply, positive discrimination should be used in moderation or we'll have another generation where the majority of the poor remains poor.
Hi Neil

"There is big difference between acceptance rates for black applicants and chinese, indian and white applicants"

I think this is an interesting point. does anyone know how the rates of acceptances for chinese and indian (and other minority) students compare to black and white students?

rosie
0
naelse
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#43
Report 16 years ago
#43
(Original post by Alaric)
I'm interested to know whether you think expected grades should be lowered on account of underpriviledged backgrounds for those who haven't got scholarships etc?? I'm keen to know if you'd regard that as positive discrimination or a just acknowledgement of differing backgrounds? Also whether you think that would actually help intakes from marginalised groups or is there too much cultural/social feeling against such instituitions for it to have a real effect?

Alaric.
Cambridge already run a special access scheme by which students from less priviledged backgrounds and poor educational backgrounds can apply. It doesn't make it clear whether or not grades would be lowered, but it does point out that it helps make a more fair assessment of what can be expected of students grades-wise. I'm in complete favour of that, because it's assessing each student differently and not just saying " you've got an automatic place at cambridge because you're poor. "
0
Alaric
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#44
Report 16 years ago
#44
(Original post by naelse)
Cambridge already run a special access scheme by which students from less priviledged backgrounds and poor educational backgrounds can apply. It doesn't make it clear whether or not grades would be lowered, but it does point out that it helps make a more fair assessment of what can be expected of students grades-wise. I'm in complete favour of that, because it's assessing each student differently and not just saying " you've got an automatic place at cambridge because you're poor. "
Yeah I'm aware of CSAS. It also gives opportunity for further references by teachers etc if I recall correctly.
It seems a good plan, but isn't very widely publicised I don't think. I seem to recall in the 2002/2003 prospectus it go a box about one inch by two. Perhaps they need to put more effort into making it more apparent what support is available.

Alaric.
0
neildm
Badges: 0
#45
Report 16 years ago
#45
(Original post by crana)
Hi Neil

"There is big difference between acceptance rates for black applicants and chinese, indian and white applicants"

I think this is an interesting point. does anyone know how the rates of acceptances for chinese and indian (and other minority) students compare to black and white students?

rosie
Hi Rosie
I saw it here
http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/reporter/.../07/table5.pdf
It seems to average to around 16.7% for black applicants, varying from 32% for B-Caribbean (12 got in out of 38) to 12% for B-African (11 got in out of 93!!!).
0
Mentally Ill
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#46
Report 16 years ago
#46
(Original post by naelse)
Cambridge already run a special access scheme by which students from less priviledged backgrounds and poor educational backgrounds can apply. It doesn't make it clear whether or not grades would be lowered, but it does point out that it helps make a more fair assessment of what can be expected of students grades-wise. I'm in complete favour of that, because it's assessing each student differently and not just saying " you've got an automatic place at cambridge because you're poor. "
The Cambridge Special Access Scheme is an opportunity for an applicant to bring to the attention of the tutors that this person didnt realise thier full potential at GCSE level because of personal circumstances (ie. death, etc.) at the time of exam.

If the above can be demonstated (usually by confirmations of the applicants school teachers), AND the applicants family do not have a tradition of going to HE, then Dons will NOT SCREEN OUT the applicant on poor (by the standard of other cam applicants) GCSE's. A levels will still need to be excellent.

So, the fact that you are black and from a deprived community or from a poor neighbourhood etc. will not be sufficient to be considered under the scheme. Moreover, [hypothetically speaking] a student from Eton whose parents (who have never attended HE - and there are some!) died dramitcally the day before his gcses, technically, could be considered under the scheme.

Of course, once a tutor recieves a CSAS application, it is up to them to judge how much they think the student was disadvantaged etc.

Also, if you are applying through CSAS, you will still need to be predicted AAA/AAB in a levels.
0
Alaric
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#47
Report 16 years ago
#47
(Original post by Mentally Ill)
Also, if you are applying through CSAS, you will still need to be predicted AAA/AAB in a levels.
I quote from the cambridge prospectus (emphasis is mine):
CSAS asks schools/colleges to provide additional information and a much fuller reference than usual. This enables the Cambridge colleges to assess candidates more fairly, especially in deciding on appropriate levels for conditional offers.
That does give scope for them to reduce conditional offers, but it is up to individual admissions tutors to decide this.

Alaric.
0
Mentally Ill
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#48
Report 16 years ago
#48
That does give scope for them to reduce conditional offers, but it is up to individual admissions tutors to decide this.

Alaric.[/QUOTE]


Well I spoke with the csas people and they said you would still need AAA/AAB.

But I guess if you are arguing that you 'personal problem' is occuring now, while you are taking A levels, that would be reason to lower the offer.

But I find that Cambridge official literature is rather misleading. One thing said in the prospectus is contradicted by other literature.
0
Alaric
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#49
Report 16 years ago
#49
(Original post by Mentally Ill)
Well I spoke with the csas people and they said you would still need AAA/AAB.

But I guess if you are arguing that you 'personal problem' is occuring now, while you are taking A levels, that would be reason to lower the offer.

But I find that Cambridge official literature is rather misleading. One thing said in the prospectus is contradicted by other literature.
I would agruge that a deprivation of education is on going, it doesn't just go away. Ultimately there are a hell of a lot of bureaucrats in cambridge, but they don't set the grades, I'd be interested to see what the actual admissions tutors would say.
Indeed there might be some specific requirements that certain subjects wouldn't be able to fuction without, such as a-level maths for maths etc. It may be the case that they really do need to understand that subject but the others can be variable. I suppose in the end it's made on a case by case basis.

I would say I would expect they may set AAB sometimes even when they know the candidate won't get it so that they can see how close the candidate got... which could be a measure of their motivation. This can have its flaws though.

Alaric.
0
Mentally Ill
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#50
Report 16 years ago
#50
(Original post by Alaric)
I would agruge that a deprivation of education is on going, it doesn't just go away. Ultimately there are a hell of a lot of bureaucrats in cambridge, but they don't set the grades, I'd be interested to see what the actual admissions tutors would say.
Indeed there might be some specific requirements that certain subjects wouldn't be able to fuction without, such as a-level maths for maths etc. It may be the case that they really do need to understand that subject but the others can be variable. I suppose in the end it's made on a case by case basis.

I would say I would expect they may set AAB sometimes even when they know the candidate won't get it so that they can see how close the candidate got... which could be a measure of their motivation. This can have its flaws though.

Alaric.
I had a conversation with an admissions tutor about this. She told me that for most degrees offered at Cam there are requirements that the degree will not function without. She went on to say that this requirement is best met by an A at a level in a given subject. She also said that if she considered the applicant to have the potential to study at Cam, but will clearly not meet the requirement (or hasnt done so) she would be more inclined to reject them BUT inform them that the only reason they lost out was because of the a level thingy...she would then expect a question: "should I apply again next year when I can retake etc?" and she answers "yes".

I actually thought that CSAS was designed for situations like this. But again, I guess it all depends on the personal beleifs of the tutor. Some tutors will bet their lives on a levels - others will be more open minded.
0
Suzy_vet
Badges: 0
#51
Report 16 years ago
#51
Do yuo think it could be becasue cambridge is know for being rather middle/ upper class and that puts people from working class backgrounds off, and i would have said that there is a higher percentage of blacks who are working class than middle and upper? I think its a real shame, perhaps its all part of our failing school system.
0
zoe_catlin
Badges: 0
#52
Report 16 years ago
#52
In response to {Mentally Ill}

...And your condescending response is precisely the reason why I would no longer choose Oxbridge. It is somewhat parodoxical that in the first instance you are purporting that Oxbridge is far removed from the stereotypes which I am "wrongly" assigning to it, and then in the same breath you are stating that this obviously elitist institution wouldn't want me anyway. Why? Is Cambridge the only academic instituion within the UK which requires a student to have autonomy of thought? You are perpetuating the very myth you are trying to dispel with a statement like that.
Moreover, I am not making my judgement solely from watching a one hour documentary, but having visited Cambridge and the colleges. I did not feel comfortable there. Similarly no matter what you assert, the fact that the only black students at Cambridge seem to be those who have to conform to being like their white, middle class counterparts rather than themselves (evidenced by the fact that you don't have any patois speaking Jamaicans or West Indians or even anyone remotely akin to a Rastafarian - black or white) to me indicates that most Cambridge students are just carbon copies of each other.
It is not my role or desire to further the representativeness of any institution. It is the role of the institution to adopt policies and practices which are more than "prima facie" inclusive. How many Black lecturers are there at Cambridge and should this also be my role to redress this
imbalance!!
0
neildm
Badges: 0
#53
Report 16 years ago
#53
Dear Lord! You're right - don't apply to Cam! You'll probably have a much more representative experience at Durham, Bristol, Warwick or the LSE, cos they are brimming over with dreadlocked black Rastafarians!! And many more black lecturers too!!!
0
zoe_catlin
Badges: 0
#54
Report 16 years ago
#54
Dear Lord! You're right - don't apply to Cam! You'll probably have a much more representative experience at Durham, Bristol, Warwick or the LSE, cos they are brimming over with dreadlocked black Rastafarians!! And many more black lecturers too!!!

And of course it is quite apparent from what I have just written that I am applying to those institutions, because I clearly wrote that I was applying to LSE, Warwick and Bristol instead!! NOT!! I was kind of thinking of the USA, and not other Russell group universities which also perpetuate the status quo.
I take it that you are not studying Law as your ability to extract facts from what people say is hugely limited!
0
neildm
Badges: 0
#55
Report 16 years ago
#55
(Original post by zoe_catlin)
Dear Lord! You're right - don't apply to Cam! You'll probably have a much more representative experience at Durham, Bristol, Warwick or the LSE, cos they are brimming over with dreadlocked black Rastafarians!! And many more black lecturers too!!!

And of course it is quite apparent from what I have just written that I am applying to those institutions, because I clearly wrote that I was applying to LSE, Warwick and Bristol instead!! NOT!! I was kind of thinking of the USA, and not other Russell group universities which also perpetuate the status quo.
I take it that you are not studying Law as your ability to extract facts from what people say is hugely limited!
Yes, yes, absolutely! But, just to jog your memory you directed your comments Cambridge specifically, not LSE, Bristol, Warwick or any other university. I hope you find the dreadlocked rastafarians you're looking for in the US of A. (Ivy League and such)

And on a less sarcastic and genuine note, I do wish you a grand education.
0
Tnacilppa
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#56
Report 16 years ago
#56
(Original post by zoe_catlin)
In response to {Mentally Ill}

...And your condescending response is precisely the reason why I would no longer choose Oxbridge. It is somewhat parodoxical that in the first instance you are purporting that Oxbridge is far removed from the stereotypes which I am "wrongly" assigning to it, and then in the same breath you are stating that this obviously elitist institution wouldn't want me anyway. Why? Is Cambridge the only academic instituion within the UK which requires a student to have autonomy of thought? You are perpetuating the very myth you are trying to dispel with a statement like that.
Moreover, I am not making my judgement solely from watching a one hour documentary, but having visited Cambridge and the colleges. I did not feel comfortable there. Similarly no matter what you assert, the fact that the only black students at Cambridge seem to be those who have to conform to being like their white, middle class counterparts rather than themselves (evidenced by the fact that you don't have any patois speaking Jamaicans or West Indians or even anyone remotely akin to a Rastafarian - black or white) to me indicates that most Cambridge students are just carbon copies of each other.
It is not my role or desire to further the representativeness of any institution. It is the role of the institution to adopt policies and practices which are more than "prima facie" inclusive. How many Black lecturers are there at Cambridge and should this also be my role to redress this
imbalance!!
To be honest it is your decision. I am sorry but I think you are really over-reacting. I genuinely believe that 99 percent of the admissions tutors would take a candidate purely on ability regardless of race, skin colour, beliefs etc.

If you don't want to go to Cambridge because you feel "uncomfortable" that is your choice. However, it is your responsibility to be pro-active. Don't assume. People have the right to freedom of belief so black people should not feel the need to conform to any beliefs apart from their own. (Neither for that matter should white people be expected to conform to being "middle-class".) Your statement "the only Black students at Cambridge seem to be those who have to conform to being like their White, middle class counterparts " is ridiculous. Cambridge has a diverse mixture of people from all backgrounds all of whom should be intelligent enough not to follow and principles they are told to.

You ask how many Black lecturers there are. I am a student (not at university yet) and the one person I would most like to hear lecture at the moment is Toni Morrison (a Black female, but more importantly great author). I am sure (given half the chance) Cambridge would snap up an offer to hear her speak.

Stop complaining. Your being at Cambridge would not increase "representativeness" greatly. However, it would (I am sure) benefit you as an individual. And this is my point - establishments should not be trying to fill quotas or reach government statistics. They should be looking at individuals. People at Cambridge are not "carbon-copies" of each other, they are individuals. I would not worry about feeling marginalised because you won't be - whatever some crappy TV program says.

Adam
0
*dave*
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#57
Report 16 years ago
#57
The fact that there are many Asian students at Oxbridge shows that there is no racism in the system. If there was, Asians would have just as low acceptance rates as blacks.

Maybe we are just skating over the most obvious issue. In general, black students achieve lower grades than white students, and are less motivated in getting a good education. Black culture (Especially American Black culture - rappers like 50 Cent and Dr. Dre) encourages anti-social behaviour and thus black students are less focused on achieving.

It would be wrong and insulting to give places to black students, because they are black. I think thats racist. Rather, setting the standard the same across all races and genders and whoever deserves the place more gets the place. It would be unfair to deny a white person a place, because a lower achieving black person was needed to 'bump up the numbers'. If I was black, I would be insulted if was that black person - and rather go to a place where I deserved a place.

Btw, I got rejected from Cambridge, and Im white. yet I dont use my race as an excuse for not getting in.

I hope this doesn't appear racist, because I am certainly not. But Im trying not to fall in the trap of being P.C. because I think that gets no-one anywhere.
0
Adhsur
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#58
Report 16 years ago
#58
(Original post by *dave*)
The fact that there are many Asian students at Oxbridge shows that there is no racism in the system. If there was, Asians would have just as low acceptance rates as blacks.

Maybe we are just skating over the most obvious issue. In general, black students achieve lower grades than white students, and are less motivated in getting a good education. Black culture (Especially American Black culture - rappers like 50 Cent and Dr. Dre) encourages anti-social behaviour and thus black students are less focused on achieving.

It would be wrong and insulting to give places to black students, because they are black. I think thats racist. Rather, setting the standard the same across all races and genders and whoever deserves the place more gets the place. It would be unfair to deny a white person a place, because a lower achieving black person was needed to 'bump up the numbers'. If I was black, I would be insulted if was that black person - and rather go to a place where I deserved a place.

Btw, I got rejected from Cambridge, and Im white. yet I dont use my race as an excuse for not getting in.

I hope this doesn't appear racist, because I am certainly not. But Im trying not to fall in the trap of being P.C. because I think that gets no-one anywhere.
I agree with you.
0
s-man
Badges:
#59
Report 16 years ago
#59
(Original post by *dave*)
The fact that there are many Asian students at Oxbridge shows that there is no racism in the system. If there was, Asians would have just as low acceptance rates as blacks.

Maybe we are just skating over the most obvious issue. In general, black students achieve lower grades than white students, and are less motivated in getting a good education. Black culture (Especially American Black culture - rappers like 50 Cent and Dr. Dre) encourages anti-social behaviour and thus black students are less focused on achieving.

It would be wrong and insulting to give places to black students, because they are black. I think thats racist. Rather, setting the standard the same across all races and genders and whoever deserves the place more gets the place. It would be unfair to deny a white person a place, because a lower achieving black person was needed to 'bump up the numbers'. If I was black, I would be insulted if was that black person - and rather go to a place where I deserved a place.

Btw, I got rejected from Cambridge, and Im white. yet I dont use my race as an excuse for not getting in.

I hope this doesn't appear racist, because I am certainly not. But Im trying not to fall in the trap of being P.C. because I think that gets no-one anywhere.

woooo..........u tell em dave
0
kildare
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#60
Report 16 years ago
#60
Dave, I agree with you to an extent, black culture is perhaps traditionally less focused on the value of examination performance that say Asian culture (although I feel your suggestion that "black culture" equated to nothing other than "bling bling" rappers).

However, I feel the main reason why blacks are underrepresented is because of the social injustice that still exists today. Although racism might not be as big a problem today, (although it certainly hasn't disappeared) the unfortunate fact is that past racism meant that black's found themselves in an economically disadvantaged position.

In addition, parental income has an undeniable effect of children's performance (as parents are not able to give their children as much time or provide them with as many learning resources).

What's more, student's from deprived areas (of which black's are a disproportionaly high number) face inherent disadvantages. They must make do with substandard facilities and supplies, and unlike others, are not able to address this problem by spending money on things which may broaden their horizons (like newspapers or news magazines).

This can lead to a vicious circle whereby students aren't motivated to work and teacher's aren't motivated to teach them, leaving those student’s who do wish to "beat the system" in a very difficult position.

I would point out, that I honestly don't believe that the Oxbridge admissions process is "institutionally racist", in my opinion the only way to effect the figures is to invest in the education of the underprivileged at any early age (the earlier the better) and to show people that you are firmly committed to giving them the chance of economic and personal betterment from an early age.

This could then lead to a reversal of the "vicious circle", with the disruptive and unmotivated students now finding themselves in the minority and being forced to adapt. If this was done effectively, I think you would see more and more black students (and other students from underprivileged areas) applying and being admitted to university's such as Cambridge.

And, with more and more being admitted, those at the bottom of the social and economic pile would be encouraged to work hard themselves, safe in the knowledge that it would not be in vain.
0
X
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • University of Cambridge
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Thu, 2 Jul '20
  • University of Cambridge
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Fri, 3 Jul '20

Do you get study leave?

Yes- I like it (446)
59.07%
Yes- I don't like it (42)
5.56%
No- I want it (217)
28.74%
No- I don't want it (50)
6.62%

Watched Threads

View All