Oxford University rejects PM’s criticisms

first_imgIn a column for The Sunday Times, the prime minister cited institutional racism as an issue he planned to combat under his administration.Specifically, he called out Oxford for “[accepting] just 27 black men and women out of an intake of more than 2,500″ in 2014.He wrote that he intends “to legislate to place a new transparency duty on universities to publish data routinely about the people who apply to their institution, the subject they want to study, and who gets offered a place. And this will include a full breakdown of their gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic background.The University responded, however, to Cameron’s calls for more admissions information to be published by saying that much of his suggested reform was already in place.Dr Julia Paolitto, media relations manager for Oxford, told Cherwell, “Oxford already publishes (and has done for many years) most of the information the PM is calling for, which is why we are saying we don’t feel legislation is necessary for our purposes. In fact, the figure Cameron cited in his op-ed piece for our 2014 BME intake he only got because it’s openly available on our website – along with a lot more data besides.”A university spokesperson said, “We are constantly working to update what information we provide and although we do not see the need for further legislation, we would welcome discussions on what more information we could publish.”The statement pointed out, “Our most recent statistics for British undergraduate students show that Oxford has made progress against a challenging backdrop of changes to the educational landscape and student funding. For entry in 2015 Oxford accepted 367 UK undergraduates students from ethnic minority backgrounds (a 15 per cent increase on 2010) – and its intake of British undergraduate students from black backgrounds alone has grown by more than 60 per cent since 2010 (from 39 to 64). Across our student body as a whole 24 per cent of students are from ethnic minority backgrounds, and our student mix is very much in line with other highly selective universities.”In any case, the spokesperson added, “The effects of social inequality are already pronounced before children begin formal schooling, and universities, schools and government must work together to address their root causes effectively.”The statement also included a link to admissions information provided by Oxford.last_img

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