The Prime Minister , David Cameron this week criticised Oxford University for only admitting One black student in 2010, a figure Oxford University dispute,
Mr Cameron was answering questions from members of the public at a “PM Direct” event in Harrogate in North Yorkshire.
“I saw figures the other day that showed that only one black person went to Oxford last year,” he said. “I think that is disgraceful. We have got to do better than that.”
Oxford University said that it was true that only one British undergraduate from that year’s intake identified him or herself as “black – Caribbean”. But this failed to take into account another 26 who identified themselves as either “black – African” or “black – other”. A spokesman for the university added, Another 14 described themselves as mixed race with some black heritage.
Furthermore, these figures do not take into account postgraduates, non-British undergraduates, or undergraduates who preferred not to identify themselves as belonging to a specific ethnic group, he added.
However, Downing street responded by saying:
“The figure the prime minister used was from a response to an Freedom of Information request submitted by David Lammy – which clearly states that only 1 black Caribbean student was admitted to Oxford in 2009.
“The wider point he was making was that it is not acceptable for universities like Oxford to have so few students coming from black and minority ethnic groups.”
Shadow Higher Education Minister,David Lammy said Oxford University ;
“needs to show more humility about its woeful admissions figures”. This is an issue that is as much about the class and north-south divides as it is about race” He went on to say; “It is not acceptable that only one black Caribbean student entered Oxford in 2009. Nor is it clear that Oxford University is really committed to outreach work.
“They targeted private schools for 770 ‘outreach’ events in 2008 and 2009, including 11 at St Paul’s and 9 at Eton. This is an issue that is as much about the class and north-south divides as it is about race”.
“Oxford is taking more students from Richmond-upon-Thames than they are from Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city.”