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Oxford University under fire for poor black student admission

CMC

Monday, October 18, 2010 | 8:59 AM    

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LONDON, UK – One of the world’s top universities is under fire after revealing that it only admitted one black Caribbean student last year.

Oxford University in the United Kingdom said that almost 90 per cent of the more than 3,000 students it recruited last year were white.

Trevor Philips, chairman of Briton’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, described the record of recruiting ethnic students to the country's top universities as “dire”.

“I personally can't see that quotas are the answer, but I am reluctant to rule out any possibility given that the situation is so dire,” Philips told reporters here. “And, in some cases, we appear to be going backwards.”

Some reports indicate that just five black Caribbean students were given places at Oxford in 2008.

Suggestions have now been made that ethnic quotas should be introduced to ensure more black and Pakistani students are given the chance to attend some of the best universities in the country.

But Oxford has dismissed the idea, stating that it would continue to work to recruit more undergraduates from diverse backgrounds.

“Universities have to get themselves out of their comfort zones and look in directions that they are not used to – look past the independent schools,” Phillips said.

Concerns have been raised that black Caribbean school pupils have some of the worst GCSE results of any ethnic group in England.

In addition, there is growing concern about ethnic segregation in England after the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that less than 10 per cent of black students were enrolled at the so-called Russell Group universities, including Oxford.

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