Why must black students do better than white students to get into university?

Race inequality remains prevalent throughout all areas of higher education, including staffing, admissions and employment, according to a new report by leading UK race equality think tank the Runnymede Trust, featuring the work of researchers at The University of Manchester.

Black and minority ethnic (BME) must do better than their white peers in order to get into university in the first place, and are still less likely to get into the more prestigious institutions, notwithstanding their A level results.

So, despite an increase of BME students in overall, they are still under-represented at the best universities, less likely to get jobs that match their education level or to progress to professorships.

In fact, 92.39 per cent of professors (15,905) in UK academia are White, and 0.49 per cent (85) are black, with just 17 of those being women. Only 15 black academics in the British university system perform senior management roles.

David Lammy MP, in his foreword for the report, said: "Whether in terms of admissions, attainment, employment, the student experience or indeed staffing, universities still have some way to go to ensure equality for ethnic minorities in Britain.

"So despite the lofty ideals of universities, they do no better – and are in fact doing worse – than many other institutions in British society when it comes to race equality. What, then, can be done? As with other institutions, some of the suggestions supported in this volume are well known: better outreach, better and more transparent data collection, expanding the range of skills and also kinds of knowledge that universities value, and making more use of positive action."

New video showcases work being done by researchers at The University of Manchester to understand why black and minority ethnic students still find it harder to get places at university.

Dr Omar Khan, Director of the Runnymede Trust, said: "Evidence that white British students with lower A-level results are more likely to get into elite British universities than Asian students with higher A-level results suggests there is unconscious bias, if not positive discrimination, in favour of white university applicants in 2015.

The obvious question, then, is, if these racial inequalities persist across every measurement of outcomes in higher education, will black and minority ethnic students continue to pay £9000 a year for a much poorer experience than their classmates?"

The report, Aiming Higher: Race, Inequality and Diversity in the Academy, is a collection of essays written by leading academics and researchers.


Explore further

Ethnic inequalities mapped across England and Wales

More information: The study is available online: www.runnymedetrust.org/uploads/Aiming%20Higher.pdf
Citation: Why must black students do better than white students to get into university? (2015, February 17) retrieved 23 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-02-black-students-white-university.html
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Feb 17, 2015
This article is misleading. It lumps Blacks and Asian academic data together. If you leave out the Asian ata, the article is a totally FALSE and down right LIE! This author is using Asians statistics for political gain purposes.

Feb 17, 2015
it's the opposite in USA. So many assistance programs, and de-facto quotas at the Universities, that they fight over the small pool of qualified minorities. Thus the minority applicants generally get into schools a notch above their similar non-minority peers; then have a tough time in the school as they are underqualified. It also devalues their degree, as culturally all employers are aware of this effect. A minority Cal-tech grad is not likely to be as strong as a non-minority Cal-tech grad. The boomerang effect is well documented.

Feb 17, 2015
Why is race, ethnicity, sex, ... a factor at all?

Feb 17, 2015
This entire article is click bait and false. Obviously, most black students with a pulse are accepted to most universities to check the diversity box.

Feb 17, 2015
Why is race, ethnicity, sex, ... a factor at all?


Great question, it shouldn't be but political correctness and such have created this entitlement. Personally, if someone told me I got into school simply because I was Italian and not because I earned it I'd be insulted.

Feb 17, 2015
It might have something to do with the 38% of black children who grow up in generational welfare families...they don't tend to put much effort into leading their kids towards college...Brainiacs deserve to be placed before low-performing students, regardless of their race. I thought America had moved past race-based victim-hood.

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