Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class


10:20 am - December 8th 2010

by John B    


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Newspapers are frustrating. They often report stories that are genuinely interesting and worth investigating in a way that’s so misleading and confusing that the real point gets totally lost amid extremist rhetoric.

The Guardian’s reporting of David Lammy’s data on ethnic minority admissions of domestic Oxbridge undergraduates is a good example: some of the underlying data is good, but many of the factoids are wrong or misleading.

For example, one particular college apparently admitted no black domestic undergraduate students for three years. Cue: a deluge of commenters and tweeters rising up in outrage… which was completely misplaced. The college in question has an annual intake of 100 students, and the black population of the UK is 2%. That’s six missing people compared to the ‘expected’ number.

Even assuming the goal of university admissions was to completely ignore people’s academic credentials of any kind in favour of achieving ethnic balance, this would be statistical noise, equivalent to accidentally missing out on people called Smith for a few years.

So once we ignore the headlines, what are we left with? Frustratingly, the Guardian haven’t done what they often do and made the whole dataset available, so some of the analysis I’d like to do is impossible. But here we go, anyway…

Not too much to see here

Helpfully, the lack of relevance of the headline data in itself is given away by the quote from the University of Cambridge at the end of the piece:

15% of students accepted last year were from minority ethnic backgrounds. Over the five years to 2009 entry black students accounted for 1.5% of admissions to Cambridge, compared with 1.2% of degree applicants nationally who secure AAA at A-level.

I’ve sourced the same data for Oxford from their website (as an aside, I don’t know why Lammy felt the need to issue a FoI request and pretend that “you will not find these figures on the Oxford or Cambridge websites” – actually, you will…). 13% of acceptances were from minority ethnic backgrounds. 1.2% of all students that get AAA are black, and 1% of Oxford’s 2009 admission are black.

Now, we know that ethnic minorities make up somewhere around 10% of the population (it was 8% in 2001, but this is generally believed to have risen – roll on the new census!). So Oxford and Cambridge are taking slightly more ethnic minority students than their prevalence in the total population would suggest, far fewer black students than their prevalence in the total population would suggest – but about the same proportion of black students as white students with the same A-level results.

So where does that take us?

Well, the only minority group that’s singled out in this report as seriously underrepresented is black, and we know that this is largely due to the very low representation of the black Caribbean group. We know that minority groups in total are overrepresented.

We know that Oxbridge admissions massively underrepresent working class kids (indeed, the article picks up on this point only to throw it away and concentrate on anecdotes – it notes that Oxford’s social profile is 89% upper- and middle-class, as is 88% of Cambridge’s),

And we also know that the worst performing groups educationally in the UK overall are white working class and black Caribbean working class kids, and that those two groups perform much more similarly to each other than any of the other minority groups.

From that, we can draw two main conclusions.

One is that, much as it would be fun to assume the ivory towers were filled with sneering bigots and old colonial caricatures, there isn’t any real evidence of racial discrimination or lack of racial diversity in the Oxbridge recruitment process. The other is that there is plenty of evidence for lack of class diversity, and that this catches working-class black kids in its net.

Tipping the scales to make them fairer

Some of the solution to the problem falls on the universities. They need to ensure their admissions process ensures a selection that is inclusive when compared to the share of kids who get the top grades in A-levels (ie not just share of applicants) – at the moment, even when working class kids do manage to get three As, they’re still less likely to end up in Oxbridge.

But the system should go beyond this – not in terms of lowering overall standards, which would defeat the point, but rather in selecting which kids of the same standard to pick. This is simply because it’s likely that a working-class kid from a comprehensive school in south London with four predicted As has far more aptitude to perform at uni than a middle-class public school kid from Surrey with four predicted As.

The former has already proved herself to be a motivated, self-starting and able to succeed despite frequently bad teaching, by reading to make up the gaps and getting the most from the good teachers she does encounter. Her school has no particular institutional interest in her excelling at A-level or going to Oxbridge: they’ll be delighted if she gets 3 Cs, and would much rather focus on the borderline kids who might not even pass.

The latter, on the other hand, has been educated in an environment where the school’s institutional incentives are based on maximising the number of kids who get four As and an Oxbridge place. If she starts performing poorly, the school will intervene and ensure that she improves. And all her class-based teaching will be of a standard that should allow her to achieve four As at A-level without additional self-driven work.

A mirror, not a lens

However, while taking the steps above would certainly be positive (and should be applied to all Russell Group universities – many others have an even worse record of class diversity than Oxbridge), it amounts to tinkering at the margins.

Even if the ratios at the university end were adjusted to allow social disadvantage to be taken more clearly into account when taking candidates with identical predictions, black Caribbean kids and white working class kids would still be grossly underrepresented, not only at Oxbridge but at university overall, in the proportions of kids taking A-levels, and in the proportion of kids living school with any kind of qualification.

No matter what the elite university system does, it can’t solve the problems the Guardian flags in the headline. It needs to do a better job of selecting from the people available, but it also has to reflect the skewed selection of kids who get good A-levels in the first place. And that’s down to the educational system in general, and its wider place in society.

I’m buggered if I know how to change it, but it isn’t by shouting at Oxbridge, or even at the elite universities in general.

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About the author
John Band is a journalist, editor and market analyst, depending on who's asking and how much they're paying. He's also been a content director at a publishing company and a strategy consultant. He is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy and also blogs at Banditry.
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Story Filed Under: Education ,Equality ,Race relations

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Reader comments


Good article.

” I don’t know why Lammy felt the need to issue a FoI request and pretend that “you will not find these figures on the Oxford or Cambridge websites” – actually, you will…”

Your question answers itself. To spice up his non-story.

John B,

Nice post. However, I think your proposal to tip the scales towards working class students is rather flawed. Firstly, your measure appears to be school of applicant rather than anything socio-economic and that is not a good measure of class. Only the very worst schools do not have some middle class students, and most students with aspiration actually leave bad schools for better sixth-form colleges anyway. Very few really bad schools have sixth forms for this reason. For example in south Birmingham, many pupils aiming for good universities leave school in year 11 and enrol at Solihull Sixth Form College, an institution with a very good record of getting students to elite universities, which wierdly enough would not be considered working class because it sits in the blatantly middle-class Solihull.

Furthermore, if you do bias the system towards high-achieving pupils from bad schools, many of these might actually be those with pushy parents and the like, whilst some of the high-achieving pupils from public schools or the like you are excluding could be children of hard-working working class parents or on scholarships or something. It is not clear cut.

What we really need is an education system which allows people to all reach their potential (and have the belief that they can – how do you think a black child who read the Guardian headline yesterday would feel about their chance of applying to Oxbridge now, unless they have excellent advise or read John’s excellent post), and an examination system that makes differentation between the top end of the examined cohort possible.

A pretty balanced article in general….

I would say that most Oxbridge colleges make big efforts to recruit more kids from comprehensive schools and working class backgrounds. My own college runs various prgrams to bring the kids in to open days and also send students form similar backgrounds out to the schools. I have to say, in a lot of cases it is the teachers at schools which are the biggest barriers…..there needs to be a sea change in attitudes at some schools about Oxbridge application.

Also, as I mentioned yesterday in the other thread, I think the problem is less about Oxbridge, who make an effort to interview every serious applicant (AAA), and more about some of the standards in teaching and attainment at comprehensive schools. Some clearly fail the kids there, and this limits their chances in life let alone going to Oxbridge. There is little Oxbridge can do about this directly.

How can we discuss black Carribean underachievement without ANY mention of the likes of Tony Sewell?

For Lammy and co to still be trying to pin this on ‘institutional racism’ alone (a term coined by the Black Panthers, remember) shows how far the left has got to catch up.

Good article overall, one quick quibble:

The former has already proved herself to be a motivated, self-starting and able to succeed despite frequently bad teaching, by reading to make up the gaps and getting the most from the good teachers she does encounter. Her school has no particular institutional interest in her excelling at A-level or going to Oxbridge: they’ll be delighted if she gets 3 Cs, and would much rather focus on the borderline kids who might not even pass.

The latter, on the other hand, has been educated in an environment where the school’s institutional incentives are based on maximising the number of kids who get four As and an Oxbridge place. If she starts performing poorly, the school will intervene and ensure that she improves. And all her class-based teaching will be of a standard that should allow her to achieve four As at A-level without additional self-driven work.

Of course when it’s as clear cut as this, admissions tutors will select the kid from the comp with the tougher background.

But it’s rarely as clear cut as this. As one of my former tutors, currently interviewing here at King’s Cambridge, put it over the summer: the idea that there are hundreds of “rough diamonds” just waiting to be plucked out of the state sector is simply wrong. Not least because “potential” is something of a chimera; a kid’s “potential” is heavily determined by their education received to date.

The tough decisions are always made at the margin – you’ve got a kid from a state comp and a kid from a grammer/private institution. They look to be about the same ability. OK, so you decide you want to give the state school kid from a working class background a chance…but you’re interested in their welfare and potential to succeed. You therefore have to factor in that for working class kids Oxbridge represents an enormously difficult and risky experience that – for reasons which are basically completely unfair – their middle and upper class peers don’t.

This is because Oxbridge (being dominated by the upper and upper-middle classes) can often be an utterly alienating, dispiriting and isolating place for people from other social strata. At one level this is personal and psychological – people from independent and grammar schools come from social backgrounds that easily slide into Oxbridge. But also it’s intellectual; the workload step up at Oxbridge is *dramatic*. Kids prepped at elite institutions can handle it OK normally – but kids coming from poor comps, who’ve nonetheless managed to do well, can still find themselves utterly overwhelmed by the intellectual barrage of an Oxbridge degree. In unfortunate cases, combine this with social and personal alienation and the result can be disaster for the individual involved – through no fault of their own.

Which leaves contientious admissions tutors with a real dilemma. They want to offer places to less advantaged kids – but they also don’t want to hand them poisoned chalices. Most decisions about less-advantaged kids are made at the margin, and tutors thus face incredibly tough decisions.

Which ultimately is another way of making the same point as the OP finishes with: greater social equality in education provision and opportunity generally will be the key to sorting out admissions fairness and equality at Oxbridge.

Sewell and Birbalsingh have both criticised the discourse of victimhood that surrounds black children. Lammy’s intervention only feeds into that discourse.

p.s. as an Oxford undergrad, Cambridge postgrad, with experience doing outreach work, I can also confirm that *the* major problem with admissions is that kids from less advantaged backgrounds generally don’t apply to Oxbridge because they are told/think that it’s “not for people like them”. And if they don’t apply, they can’t be accepted.

If you want an alternative take on why young black kids are still struggling, you only need to check out some of the vids on sites like

http://www.mediamassacre.net

Try being aspirational when that’s your peer group…

Or try

http://www.grimedaily.com

You can’t really say this is fertile ground for aspiration. It’s more of a resistance movement…

In Britain class has almost always been more important than race.

But the system should go beyond this – not in terms of lowering overall standards, which would defeat the point, but rather in selecting which kids of the same standard to pick. This is simply because it’s likely that a working-class kid from a comprehensive school in south London with four predicted As has far more aptitude to perform at uni than a middle-class public school kid from Surrey with four predicted As.

Paul Sagar has identified the chief problem with this – the working class kid from South London is far less likely to have applied.

As has been stated above, it’s not even about academic potential. The amount of self-belief and emotional security needed to get through the first term of a standard Uni is already a pretty serious consideration.

I can only imagine how much harder it must be with an Oxbridge workload.

There have been a number of studies purporting to show that cognitive ability – measured by IQ – is not evenly distributed between the social classes.

Studies I’ve seen suggest something between one and two standard deviations difference between the highest and lowest social groups.

If this is true, an upper middle class kid would be anything from 9 to 30 times more likely to have the IQ score needed to get into Oxbridge than a kid from a poor background.

This article from the Times Higher Ed Supp certainly argues this is indeed the case:

http://tinyurl.com/2udodur

Flowerpower,

As no test such as IQ can be totally of someone’s innate abilities, I suspect any difference in IQ between social classes reflects education (own and parents), support etc.

It is the same problem as the lack of applications to universities, not a cause.

Scotland here. I think that state schools do not teach good work habits to able students.

If you can get As in most subjects simply by turning up, never meet a real challenge, never need to do more than a couple of evenings homework a year, then you never need to learn how to work hard or independently. For equal IQs, I’d choose a middle class student over a working class one for these reasons.

I believe that some studies in the US have found that black students’ SAT results overpredict their university outcomes, again I think this is their culture and prior education experience holding them back.

Possible solutions to the stimulate the unchallenged but very capable may include:

Grammer schools

Extra-curricular activities that are both intrinsically rewarding and recognised by teachers

Internet learning

Extreme streaming where they do not need to go at the speed of the slowest learner through most of their school life

16. Shatterface

‘There have been a number of studies purporting to show that cognitive ability – measured by IQ – is not evenly distributed between the social classes.’

Having read posts by Oxbridge graduates here and elsewhere I find it harder than ever to believe admission has anything to do with IQ.

The internet has explosed middle class claims to intellectual superiority as so much guff. Without your accents you aren’t exactly intimidating.

“I don’t know why Lammy felt the need to issue a FoI request”

To waste public money and to make it look like he’s uncovering information that has been hidden up

@16 – it’s “explosed” it , no doubt !

15 Boris

I don’t know which subjects you’re talking about that hand out A’s on that basis (to be honest it reads like a Daily Mail meme), but having just seen the amount of work involved for my kid to get the grades necessary for Oxbridge, it ain’t necessarily so.

The amount of homework and coursework expected was formidable, and the standard expected very high. People keep coming trotting out the “standards have fallen” tosh, but I’d defy them to look at the amount and standard of work involved today with that necessary 30 years ago and say it’s inferior. It just isn’t a universal truth.

As noted above, the main reason is simple: lack of applications. There is already a lot of pre-selection involved in applying for Oxbridge, as many students (not just from disadvantaged backgrounds either) will feel it isn’t for the likes of them, are intimidated or have little or no experience of what is involved. This is one of the main reasons why many Oxbridge colleges actually have fewer applicants per place (usually around 9 to 1) than some other high end uni’s where ratios of 15:1 and 20:1 are not uncommon.

Shatterface,

I have no great belief the middle class are intellectually superior, being merely better parented on average (yes folks, even those rich representatives who have au pairs and the like are providing better parenting educationally if not emotionally even if it is not them…).

But I have also never considered middle-class accents intimidating, apart from the Glasgow one (have you ever heard a middle-class Glaswegian get angry?). And the university accent (the sort of default setting towards which most people working in universites are heading) is actually not middle class – it is still recognisably the voice of education. That might be intimidating I suppose.

Can I say, this article is a good example of what lefty internet blogging is like at its best – exposing the spin of politicians who try to claim social justice causes for their own purposes, and highlighting the real underlying problems.

Galen10,

The amount of work required for a good (not a gifted – they can float through but alway could) student at A Level has probably not changed much.

The nature of the work in terms of challenge, depth and the like has changed immensely. Thus wheras in the early 90s history was assessed by essay answers, which required structure and even some grammatical correctness still, it is now assessed by answers of varying length which are allocated a number of marks, and where the mark is determined by how far the student has shown knowledge of certain criteria. So knowledge of history is still being assessed, but the vital skill of knowing how to present an argument in writing is no longer there. Hence many university tutors spending a lot of time teaching first-year undergraduates how to write essays. Interestingly in this context, a headteacher I worked with used to tell of how she, in the 1960s, at primary school (a state primary in the Black Country as well) had to write essays, when I in the 1980s never did.

This may explain some of the problems universities have. If you are trying to teach a subject at university level, it is a difficult ask to teach skills such as essay writing at the same time. You are trying to teach students how to think in and communicate at a high level, whilst explaining to them how the semi-colon works! So students who go to schools where they get education which goes beyond the simple requirements of the curriculum will always have an advantage – if for no other reason than the statement on their application to university will be better written and more focussed than that of someone who has never learnt to write an essay.

A-levels are probably not easier now. They are however a very different thing from twenty years ago, with less direct academic skills tested and more testing of a perscribed set of knowledge. I will not say this is wrong, but I will suggest it does nothing to help children develop skills beyond their set curriculum. Take OCR board psychology for example; at AS level students are expected to learn by heart 13 studies (chosen by the board) and research methods. Nothing else is needed, so someone with AS-level psychology may have no ideas how the fourteen distinct areas they have memorised interrelate but could still have an A. Compartmentalisation of knowledge to the exclusion of understanding of the subject (albeit easy enough for a good teacher to overcome).

“but it isn’t by shouting at Oxbridge, or even at the elite universities in general.”

No, that won’t solve the problem. But it’s fun, if only because there’s something almost objectively amusing about seeing Oxbridge graduates, students and people who wish that they were Oxbridge graduates splutter with horrified indignation at their beloved institutions getting an occasional (and entirely justified) mauling.

The real problem, of course, is the existence of a parallel education system and the links between it and the so-called elite universities. Unless that’s smashed, there’s never going to be a solution to this problem. And as that’s not going to happen any time soon, well…

Still. Things are about to get worse. Not just because of the trebling of fees at such institutions, but because of the other changes. Right now ‘elite universities’ are mostly such because of their reputations and wealth. Regrettably, this is probably going to change as we see the development of a genuine university hierarchy in response to the marketisaton of higher education.

“as we see the development of a genuine university hierarchy”

Eh? You mean we don’t have one now?

UEL and Cambridge are more or less the same now, are they?

24 – As an Oxford graduate I can confirm that Cambridge is indeed equivalent to UEL.

I think that the only thing more amazing that the clear racist bias of the elite universities is the level of denial that many “liberals” show towards it.

daggle,

So having read the two articles and comments on this site which set about showing any bias is class-based, not racist, and that Mr Lammy’s ‘findings’ were more than just flawed, your conclusion is that institutions which seek to recruit students from across the planet are ‘institutionally racist’.

You’ll forgive me if I don’t take your opinion on this seriously I hope?

Erm, except that, as the OP and closer examination of the stats show, there is no “racist” bias.

Hmmm, but you still miss many points johnb but you did mention you were simply going from the article.

What about the black middle class? Isn’t there one?

Anyway, like everything else in society it is cultural and prejudice. Some people don’t even realise it when they look their noses down at you.

And why the liberal hate? Liberals can be just as prejudiced. I think it was Martin Luther King-yes it was!-he said that great quote about it is better to know who your enemy is, then have those closest to you with seeminlg good intentions show more blindness to reality. Or something along those lines.

It’s so ridiculously funny to dismiss racism as not an issue at Oxford because it is. Like it is at the city or in the more elitist creative scenes. It’s happened to me and many! Just look it up the word ‘race’ on the internet. There are many scholars out there! In fact Michelle Obama article on the glass celing as a black person at Princeton was pretty spot on.

The problem with these situations is that these kids have to realise that they are on their own-your community isn’t there to empower you, your teachers aren’t there to inspire you and that coveted university isn’t there to encourage.

Each have their own reasons but it’s all lined with a good dose of fear. To ‘crabs in a barrell’ to ‘your not like us’.

Pity because we’re missing out some brilliant minds who end up going into crime and being V good at it!

30. James from Durham

Daggle

You are going to have to do better than that if you want to persuade anyone that the argument put by John B is erroneous!

“Pity because we’re missing out some brilliant minds who end up going into crime and being V good at it!”

And that’s Oxbridge’s fault, is it?

Goddam it, Oxford turned me down.
So it’s Bristol or….burglary!!

25

I don’t have a horse in this race, but didn’t Cambridge recently come above Oxford in the league table of international universities…in fact it came 1st if I recall? 😉

There is a simple way of resolving these social class and ethnic conflicts IMO

Legislate to bar Oxbridge or the elite universities from selecting entry applications on the basis of school leaving exam results, as at present, and oblige them to instead select applicants at random. What possibly be wrong with that?

So then why is Oxbridge still failing the working class? They are not to blame for students getting the right grades at A level.

It’s a very contentious theory, and I have been slated for raising it on another left wing forum in the past, but it’s an interesting issue to think about IMO, and that is the cultural aspects that might be at play here which also explain the lack of top grades amongst black students. And that idea is that black students, in both Britain and the US are more likely to be in thrall to a negative street culture which looks down on learning and being too good at school.

Conscious rappers are often well-meaning. Dead Prez, a duo from Florida, sometimes toss apples into the audience to encourage healthy eating. But when it comes to more contentious political issues, hip-hop offers no plausible solutions; only impotent and sometimes self-destructive rage. In “Lost in tha System” by Da Lench Mob, for example, the vocalist says, of a judge: “He added on another year cos I dissed him. Now here I go gettin’ lost in the system.” The disrespect in question was a suggestion that the judge perform fellatio on him.

http://www.economist.com/node/11622433
There’s loads of debate on that issue if you google some of the names together, and I guess you make your choice on where you stand on that issue of the hip-hop culture.
The music is mostly bought by white suburban kids, but they don’t take the message as seriously as black kids from deprived (and even middle class) backgrounds I would guess.

Here is a song on youtube by the group Dead Prez about what they teach you in school. ”White man’s lies” is one allegation.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf1QcHs4vGY

As I say, it’s just one view (that this hip-hop culture holds people back academically).

Galen10 –

I got As in Maths, Physics, Chemistry, making up 3/5ths of my highers. These courses dont require much coursework and thats arguably a good thing because it measures what you actually know and not what you rephrased from Wikipedia/textbooks. For other subjects, some homework may be required to get an A. I also got passes in Computing and English. The only homework I did was two evenings on English essays which I could have completed in class time.

I never aimed at Oxbridge, but I got in to Edinburgh easily. In fact I would have got in if I had spent 2 years getting these grades rather than just 1 year.

My point was that many working class students, especially able ones, are simply not well prepared for a university study, even if their grades are more than acceptable. At least, that is my experience in Scotland.

Isn’t the real issue of discrimination in university entry, the discrimination against men?

“The majority of young women are now going to university as entrance rates dramatically exceed those for men, according to figures”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/7542283/Majority-of-women-now-going-to-university.html

Why are women students, apparently regardless of social class or ethnicity, doing so much better in school leaving exams?

I’d agree that the current system is a “mirror not a lens”, but I’m unsure what steps it is you see the need for during the admisions process for Oxbridge and/or Russell Group unis?

As others have pointed out, most of the damage is done beforehand: if students don’t apply in the first place, then progress toward making such institutions more inclusive will fail. From recent experience the actual selection process seemed fairly rigorous, but fair; I’ll admit prior to my kid applying I was sceptical about the whole Oxbridge mystique and set up.

Having now seen someone go through it at first hand, it did seem to me that the University was genuinely concerned and committed to the concept of taking the best students, irrespective of background. Given that they expect 9 qualified applicants for each available place (and sometimes more for medicine and vet. science) it’s an unenviable task.

The intake will naturally reflect the higher academic success rates of public schools, although the % intake from them has been steadily decreasing. From various conversations during the admission process, I heard that state school students at Oxbridge generally outperform those from public schools in terms of degree results, probably because (as you allude to in your OP) many public school students are “forced flowers” in comparison to those who have not been hot housed for their whole school career.

As for your final question, I think the only way to change it is to address problems with secondary education, twinned with much greater investment in Universities (i.e. we need to pull MORE universities into the elite group) and encouraging those universities to do more outreach work to identify and encourage students from poorer backgrounds.

Technical point here – despite what they might like us to think, the Russell Group (which includes Oxford and Cambridge) is not the entirity of the elite universities anyway. To take three examples St Andrews, Durham and York are not in the Russell Group (probably because they are smaller institutions, but maybe because they don’t want to play) but I doubt you’d get very far arguing any of them were not elite.

Nice to see their PR works though…

Venting anger against the elite universities might give some folks a sense of satisfaction. However, there is only a limited amount that they can do to change things since most of a persons life chances can be reduced to how they fared in the ovary lottery. If someone has the misfortune to be born in the wrong area to inadequate parents they have massive odds to overcome in order to achieve their full potential no matter how much latent ability they have. So, class, wealth, geography all play a part but it still all comes down to an ovary lottery. One can overcome the disadvantages and make the best of one’s ability and opportunities but most will not overcome the odds against them.

Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne did not have to go to Oxbridge to reach the political top. If they had gone to any British university and followed the same career path they would probably have still have reached the top. If they had been born in a poor estate to parents with limited parenting skills things might have worked out differently. One may well be a van driver and the lesser gifted would probably be a lollipop man. Nothing wrong with being a lollipop man but it does not have the same status as chancellor of the Exchequer.

I doubt any attempted social engineering with the elite universities is going to make much difference when a kids life chances can be predicted with a fair degree of accuracy at age three. The universities are not the cause but are merely a demonstration of the ovary lottery.

32 – ahem, chilly weather today isn’t it?

29
I don’t think anyone is dismissing racism, as you have pointed-out in the last thread, class can be determined by racism within society.
TBH, you would have to study every individual and the antecedents which brought them to the current situation to really determine if they have suffered from racism/classism.
What can be said is ‘on average, working-class students are underrepresented at Oxbridge’,this does not ignore black people or indeed gender, disablility or sexuality who happen to be working-class.

“Eh? You mean we don’t have one now?”

Not in the sense that we will have in the not so distant future. At the moment there are a couple of basic divisions (between older universities and ex-polys, for example) and on top of these we then have issues of reputation and finance. It would be wrong to say that universities are approximately equal, but there is a degree of equivalence within broad bands, many (though not all) of which are, in any case, not as objective as the educated middle classes find it very, very important to assume. Marketisation is going to change that, and radically.

“Marketisation is going to change that, and radically.”

And that is bad exactly why?

@ cjcj

“Goddam it, Oxford turned me down.
So it’s Bristol or….burglary!!”

That made me laugh out loud!

Oooobviously it’s not that literal! But back when I was rebellious teen and went to warehouse parties, I did find the kids from the ‘streets’ were far, far brighter then the kids at private school I went to. That’s not the case for at all but for a good few.

I also found doing my arts degree again that the people I were with were just reciting what the professor was telling them or their hero Freud or Neitszche and those not fortunate who I mixed with, again, were soo much more brighter.

I’ve always had a varied set of friends due to my tastes in music, love of travelling or simply a deep nosieness about people in general and I firmly believe that by not making good education free for all and not having various universities make efforts to target people who ‘think it’s not for someone like me’, you’re missing out on the next best thing.

Just like Trading Places with Eddie Murphy!

@ jojo

Fair enough but I wish we would move way from the blanket statement that black = poor because I think we’re leaving huge gaps to actually understand institutional racism in academic institutions.

Lemmy was the wrong person with a warped agenda to write that piece and like the author says, it’s a pity something like this wasn’t done with greater care, evidence based facts and objectivity.

45. Chiase Guevara

@ Bob B

“Why are women students, apparently regardless of social class or ethnicity, doing so much better in school leaving exams?”

That’s not new: girls consistently outperform boys in most cases.

Plenty of theories exist to explain that: the idea that the current teaching system tends to suit girls better than boys; girls may reach a certain critical point of emotional maturity earlier, meaning they get more value from their education; culture and intrinsic mentality among school boys may make them more inclined to rebel against the system or less concerned to be told they’re not doing well.

Hard to say. I’ve yet to hear much evidence that it’s down to deliberate discrimination, though.

@45: “That’s not new: girls consistently outperform boys in most cases.”

More is the pity but when I was a student at uni all those decades ago, women students were very much a minority. Nowadays, as I understand it, women students are in the majority for almost all degree subjects. In a few years, women will be in the majority graduating out of medical schools.

As best I can recall, it was around the end of the 1980s or the beginning of the 1990s when girls started to significantly out-perform boys in the GCSE exams for 16 year-olds and the gap went on widening thereafter. I don’t recall that happening with the old GCE O Level exams but lots of factors were changing at the time – such as increasing influence of women’s lib sentiment – so it probably wasn’t a simple function of the switch in school leaving exams for 16 year-olds.

I’ve certainly no objection to these trends but the trends do show that there are no simple explanations for the observed preponderance of one kind of undergraduate student over another.

IMO George Orwell hit upon an important insight when he wrote in: The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) – chp.7:

“The time was when I used to lament over quite imaginary pictures of lads of fourteen dragged protesting from their lessons and set to work at dismal jobs. It seemed to me dreadful that the doom of a ‘job’ should descend upon anyone at fourteen. Of course I know now that there is not one working-class boy in a thousand who does not pine for the day when he will leave school. He wants to be doing real work, not wasting his time on ridiculous rubbish like history and geography. To the working class, the notion of staying at school till you are nearly grown-up seems merely contemptible and unmanly.”
http://www.george-orwell.org/The_Road_to_Wigan_Pier/6.html

45 + 46 – hasn’t the superiority of female performance been put down to an increase in coursework? Of course this may just be a lazy assumption.

“The college in question has an annual intake of 100 students, and the black population of the UK is 2%. That’s six missing people compared to the ‘expected’ number.”

I find that hard to believe. Most public sector organisations have a target of around 10% ethnic minorities in their workforce, presumably because that is the national average.
I’m also finding it hard to belive that if an insitution *not* beloved of the left wing liberal elite (many of whom attended Oxford) for example the police, tried to rationalise such a low percentage they would be accused of insitutional racism by said liberal left elite.

@ 45 “That’s not new: girls consistently outperform boys in most cases”.

It is relatively new. Started to happen in the 90s just as the state education system ditched exams in favour of assesed coursework. Be intersting to see if girls “outperforming boys” continues when we move back to a genuine exam based assesment system.

@47: ” hasn’t the superiority of female performance been put down to an increase in coursework? ”

There’s probably some research somewhere testing that theory but I don’t know about it. Gove seems intent on going back to the old ways of academic testing:

“The GCSE structure of frequent, piecemeal modular exams is to be abolished and replaced with a single exam at the end of the study period, Michael Gove, the education secretary, said yesterday.” [22 November 2010]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/nov/22/gove-modules-single-exams-gcse

That could easily affect the assessed attainment of other groups besides women in the GCSE exams – which the Conservatives had originally introduced as an exam to assess a wide span of the ability range in place of the notably academic style of the old GCE O level exam, which was intended to cater for the top 20 pc or so of the ability range.

My instinct is that issues such as this could turn out to be more significant than complaints that Oxbridge discriminates specifically against Afro-Caribbeans – or the working class of any ethnicity. Compare:

“Government figures show only 15% of white working class boys in England got five good GCSEs including maths and English last year. . . Poorer pupils from Indian and Chinese backgrounds fared much better – with 36% and 52% making that grade respectively.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7220683.stm

“Though white children in general do better than most minorities at school, poor ones come bottom of the league (see chart). Even black Caribbean boys, the subject of any number of initiatives, do better at GCSEs”
http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14700670

49
By all accounts girls consistently outperformed boys in the eleven-plus. And I always preferred examinations simply because I have a rather good short-term memory, trouble was, I always forgot most of the stuff that I’d revised after a few weeks.

I don’t believe that assessment by formal exams is inherently superior to assessment by coursework – or by modular exams – but from reports in the news, plagiarism has become a pervasive problem in student essay work and dissertations.

Special search software has been developed to detect plagiarism in written work submitted in universities but that is hardly practical for the huge volumes of coursework in GCSE courses.

Plagiarism is highly fashionable. To the acute discomfort of Alastair Cambell and his media unit in Downing St, some probing academic (Glen Rangwala) applied the plagiarism detection software to the second of the government’s dossiers on Iraq: Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation, as published in February 2003, only to discover that it was a rehash from various unattributed sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Dossier

The persisting problem of coursework plagiarism probably motivated the switch (? back) to assessment by formal exams. At its best and without plagiarism, coursework can test personal critical skills and aptitudes for investigative research in accessible sources rather than capacity to regurgitate. But we have to deal with the realities as they are.

@chaise Guevara

It’s simply because there are more female role models in schools who subconciously know how to deal with the girls better then the boys.

Something I am trying to push as a campaign I more men in ‘soft public jobs’ like teaching etc at a lower level…

Again, it’s societal and does have an impact on how you behave.

It’s so ridiculously funny to dismiss racism as not an issue at Oxford because it is. Like it is at the city or in the more elitist creative scenes. It’s happened to me and many!

Yes. Of course racism exists at Oxford and Cambridge. It exists everywhere. However, the data shows that racism is not a major factor affecting *whether or not people are admitted*. If you want to write an article on *how black people are treated when they’re actually there*, then I’m entirely sure Sunny would be delighted to punish it.

Just look it up the word ‘race’ on the internet. There are many scholars out there! In fact Michelle Obama article on the glass celing as a black person at Princeton was pretty spot on.

Black in the UK != black in the US (indeed, watching people repeatedly cite the actions of US colleges to bring in black students in the previous thread and the original Guardian thread made me write this article).

In the US, black people are best viewed (in terms of history and associated social problems) as an indigenous group, and account for 13% of the population. In the UK, black people account for 2% of the population and have a similar history to other minority groups. The situations aren’t even remotely comparable.

Which brings me to Matt at 48: you’re confusing “black people” and “ethnic minorities”. The ethnic minority population is about 10%. Oxford takes 13% of students from ethnic minorities, and Cambridge 15%. You can find those stats *in my original article*, if you bothered reading it. Hell, the Cambridge numbers are even in the Guardian piece.

I shall be interested to see how Gove’s proposed reforms of the GCSE exams affect the prospects of ethnic minority and working class students for getting places at Oxbridge:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/nov/22/gove-modules-single-exams-gcse

It doesn’t change the conclusion but I think the numbers are slightly off just because those university age are not the same as the whole population. Taking England & Wales only (which is what the data is and is perhaps given Scottish education being quite separate a better comparision, but perhaps not, and anyway it doesn’t change the point)

11.2% of population are non-white (whether white British, White Irish or white Other). But a higher 15.2% of age group 5-9 in 2001 (hence 14-18 today, excluding immigration/emigration).

For Black Caribbean it was 2.7%, rising to 3.2%.

But how does Oxford account for the large proportion of foreign students – are these figures just for the British element?

Actually, 56 isn’t quite right, the figures I had weren’t the 2001 census but an estimate of the situation in 2007. So figure not 15.2%, but 13.4%.

@ 53 “It’s simply because there are more female role models in schools who subconciously know how to deal with the girls better then the boys”.

It’s partly that, but its also that the whole ethos of state education and the syllabus structure have become very “girlie”. Competition is discouraged, physical activity is discouraged, practical lessons e.g physics and chemistry are dissaapearing. These are aspects of education that tended to engage boys, whereas the modern leaning bites, topics and projects which rely on groupwork and discussion are a feminised conception of education.

“Competition is discouraged, physical activity is discouraged, practical lessons e.g physics and chemistry are dissaapearing.”

C’mon. I simply don’t recognise the picture painted from the schooling of my own children or what I gathered from colleagues.The competition at A-level to get good grades to attain entry to the elite universities is intense. The rejection rate for popular Oxbridge courses is usually around 60 to 70 pc. IMO academic competition at school to get to good universities is far more worthwhile than school sports.

While it’s true – sadly – that at the GCSE exams more 16 year-olds have been taking combined science rather than physics and chemistry as separate subjects that is usually because of the acute shortage of sufficiently qualified science teachers, not because of some conspiratorial plan to feminise schooling.

What is far more worrying is that 20,000+ school leavers a year have no qualifications and the record numbers of NEETs (not in education, employment or training) at the end of last year.

60. Samuel Wheeler

Strangely enough there was a time period when working class kids stormed the barricades of privilege and went on to dominate British public life for half a century. But then it was decided that this wasn’t fair on middle class people and teachers, so we abolished the grammars.

“Strangely enough there was a time period when working class kids stormed the barricades of privilege and went on to dominate British public life for half a century. But then it was decided that this wasn’t fair on middle class people and teachers, so we abolished the grammars.”

In Kent and Buckinghamshire, grammar school areas, the proportion of working class children attending grammars is very low.
Middle class parents employ private tutors to get their little darlings through the exams.

@61: “In Kent and Buckinghamshire, grammar school areas, the proportion of working class children attending grammars is very low.”

Try the local education authority league table for England published in January this year:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8439650.stm

Sutton usually comes out top or second in that league based on the average attainment of candidates in the GCSE exams. Sutton borough council is a modest spender on education and Sutton is not an affluent area – it doesn’t rate among the 100 most affluent constituencies.

“All of Sutton’s grammar schools have been placed in this year’s Sunday Times Best Schools Guide. Wilson’s School, Nonsuch High School for Girls, Sutton Grammar School for Boys, Wallington High School for Girls and Wallington County Grammar School were all placed in the Top 100 State Secondary Schools category.”
http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/8674366.Sutton_grammar_schools_make_Sunday_Times_top_100/

Those are all maintained schools but have selective entrance exams.

“Underperforming schools in the capital are improving at a faster rate than nationally thanks to the London Challenge programme, an Ofsted report has found. The programme was set up by the Labour government in 2003 to target support at secondary schools with poor results. Struggling primary schools were included in the scheme from 2008. In London, 30 per cent of local authority controlled schools are now judged to be outstanding, compared with 17.5 per cent nationally.”
http://www.cypnow.co.uk/news/ByDiscipline/Education/1046169/London-Challenge-helps-capital-schools-improve-faster/

Some of the solution to the problem falls on the universities. They need to ensure their admissions process ensures a selection that is inclusive when compared to the share of kids who get the top grades in A-levels (ie not just share of applicants)

Actually the Oxford admissions system already accounts for this. When candidates enter the admissions software, it produces ‘contextual’ A-Level and GCSE scores based on size of their school, average pass rate at their school, etc. A modifier is applied to the raw grades to reflect discrepancies in background. Admissions tests are similarly put through a moderate multiplier based on indices of the school’s academic strength. When selecting candidates for interview and entry, tutors have access to both the raw scores and these contextualised ones; this is designed to inform rather than dictate subsequent decisions. In addition there is flagging that you can read about here.

***And we also know that the worst performing groups educationally in the UK overall are white working class and black Caribbean working class kids, and that those two groups perform much more similarly to each other than any of the other minority groups.***

How much of this is due to genetic variation though? For instance, twin and adoption studies show that cognitive abilities are significantly heritable. Also, see the Minnesota Transracial Adoption study.

http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/22333/


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  2. Liz K

    RT @libcon: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  3. Mike Rowley

    RT @libcon: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  4. Richard Johnson

    RT @libcon: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  5. Andrew Ducker

    Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/hM63vs

  6. Louisa Loveluck

    Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p via @libcon

  7. Louisa Loveluck

    Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p via @libcon

  8. Louise Johnson

    RT @libcon: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  9. Louise Johnson

    RT @libcon: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  10. Neil O'Brien

    A half-decent article on Liberal Conspiracy: Why Oxbridge isn't racist: http://bit.ly/eseGa8

  11. Neil O'Brien

    A half-decent article on Liberal Conspiracy: Why Oxbridge isn't racist: http://bit.ly/eseGa8

  12. Luke Bozier

    From @libcon "there's no real evidence of racial discrimination or lack of diversity in Oxbridge recruitment process" http://goo.gl/VofCU

  13. Luke Bozier

    Very well put "Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class" via @libcon http://goo.gl/VofCU

  14. Luke Bozier

    Full of crap hey @Lefty_Lisa? "Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class" via @libcon http://goo.gl/VofCU

  15. Vilhelm Sørensen

    RT @libcon: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  16. Roberto Castro Ruz

    RT @libcon: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  17. Richard P Grant

    @AtheneDonald Oh piddle. Sorry about that! http://bit.ly/fdpvS2

  18. Athene Donald

    Thanks @rpg7twit for link to http://bit.ly/fdpvS2 – another excellent rebuttal of Lammy's misleading article on black Oxbridge admissions

  19. Kenan Malik

    RT @libcon: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  20. Ian

    RT @LukeBozier: Very well put "Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class" via @libcon http://goo.gl/VofCU

  21. Ally Saunders

    Common sense writing, from @libcon:
    "Oxbridge is failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p”

  22. sdv_duras

    RT @ibcon Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p (Yes it is racist, sexist and classist..)

  23. Andy Wimbush

    RT @libcon: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p << Finally, some sense about this.

  24. Julian Huppert

    RT @AtheneDonald: Thanks @rpg7twit for link to http://bit.ly/fdpvS2 – another excellent rebuttal of Lammy's misleading article on black …

  25. Eddie Nicholls

    RT @libcon: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  26. Michael Marshall

    Demolition of Guardian article on black Oxbridge admissions: it's all about social class http://bit.ly/fdpvS2 RT @AtheneDonald @rpg7twit

  27. Matt Schofield

    RT @AtheneDonald: Thanks @rpg7twit for link to http://bit.ly/fdpvS2 – another excellent rebuttal of Lammy's misleading article on black …

  28. Rachel Danae Stalker

    @shibleylondon This is what I meant with last night's question: http://tinyurl.com/23fous5 Some grps underrepresented coz of class not race

  29. Rachel Coleman Finch

    RT @AtheneDonald: Thanks @rpg7twit for link to http://bit.ly/fdpvS2 – another excellent rebuttal of Lammy's misleading article on black …

  30. Ash C

    Sensible lefties begin to distance themselves from black nationalist race baiters http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  31. Ewan St. John Smith

    RT @m_c_marshall: Demolition of Guardian article on black Oxbridge admissions: it's all about social class http://bit.ly/fdpvS2 RT @Athe …

  32. Mark Townsend

    Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://t.co/9p5X9K6 (via @libcon) <- #nailonhead

  33. Noxi

    Oxbridge isn't racist but it's failing the working class | Liberal Conspiracy http://ow.ly/3lMK3

  34. Hannah M

    Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/onx5FZ2 via @libcon

  35. Syazwina Saw

    RT @sdv_duras: RT @ibcon Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p (Yes it is racist, sexist and …

  36. Tasha Alden

    RT @libcon: Oxbridge isn%u2019t racist %u2013 but it%u2019s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  37. sunny hundal

    Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class, says @johnb78 http://t.co/xxa12Zw

  38. Research Fortnight

    RT @sunny_hundal: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class, says @johnb78 http://t.co/xxa12Zw

  39. Débora Miranda

    RT @sunny_hundal: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class, says @johnb78 http://t.co/xxa12Zw

  40. TeresaMary

    RT @sunny_hundal: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class, says @johnb78 http://t.co/xxa12Zw

  41. Sonya Thomas

    What, no racial bias at all? @sunny_hundal: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class, says @johnb78 http://t.co/xxa12Zw

  42. Heather Stevens

    LibCon: “Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class” http://bit.ly/hZBk63 & v interesting comment from @paul_sagar (#5)

  43. Mrs Rowe

    oxbridge isn't racist: http://bit.ly/fdpvS2 . of course not, but some of the people who work there are not exactly helpful.

  44. Stephanie Merritt

    Sorry, am idiot, forgot to post link to @libcon piece on Oxbridge, here it is: http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  45. Al Makraz-Sellers

    RT @sunny_hundal: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class, says @johnb78 http://t.co/xxa12Zw

  46. Josh Spero

    RT @thestephmerritt: Sorry, am idiot, forgot to post link to @libcon piece on Oxbridge, here it is: http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  47. J.P.E. Harper-Scott

    http://j.mp/eFDDkG Excellent @libcon response to @guardian and @davidlammy misinformation about Oxbridge.

  48. Verity Harding

    RT @thestephmerritt: Sorry, am idiot, forgot to post link to @libcon piece on Oxbridge, here it is: http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  49. Alice Bell

    Interesting to follow the Oxbridge "whitewash" debate – e.g. http://bit.ly/gchfbt be nice to hear more from qualitative research tho (1/2)

  50. Andrew Wetzel

    RT @alicebell: Interesting to follow the Oxbridge "whitewash" debate – e.g. http://bit.ly/gchfbt be nice to hear more from qualitative r …

  51. Anna-Maria Müller

    RT @alicebell: Interesting to follow the Oxbridge "whitewash" debate – e.g. http://bit.ly/gchfbt be nice to hear more from qualitative r …

  52. Elizabeth Eva Leach

    RT @quiltingpoint: http://j.mp/eFDDkG Excellent @libcon response to @guardian and @davidlammy misinformation about Oxbridge.

  53. Ben Fretwell

    RT @alicebell: Interesting to follow the Oxbridge "whitewash" debate – e.g. http://bit.ly/gchfbt be nice to hear more from qualitative r …

  54. Ian Ross

    best piece I've read on Lammy's misuse of data to claim "Oxbridge is racist" – http://bit.ly/f9KKCL

  55. John Band

    RT @sunny_hundal: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class, says @johnb78 http://t.co/xxa12Zw

  56. Ben Sheen

    RT @AtheneDonald: Thanks @rpg7twit for link to http://bit.ly/fdpvS2 – another excellent rebuttal of Lammy's misleading article on black …

  57. from darkest Peru

    Sounds abt right: RT @johnb78: RT @sunny_hundal: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class, says JohnB http://t.co/xxa12Zw

  58. Emilie Filou

    RT @sunny_hundal: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class, says @johnb78 http://bit.ly/gchfbt

  59. GCU Dancer on the Midway - Link blog: randomness, cambridge, psychology, government

    […] "Let it stand, empty and inaccessible, as a monument to our fears."(tags: security terrorism politics government washington tsa bruce-schneier)Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class | Liberal Conspiracy […]

  60. Unity

    Oh FFS, the no blacks at Oxford crap was debunked yesterday – http://bit.ly/gchfbt – do try and keep up, Norman #bbcqt

  61. Mysteriously Unnamed

    Oh FFS, the no blacks at Oxford crap was debunked yesterday – http://bit.ly/gchfbt – do try and keep up, Norman #bbcqt

  62. Andy Cobley

    RT @Unity_MoT: Oh FFS, the no blacks at Oxford crap was debunked yesterday – http://bit.ly/gchfbt – do try and keep up, Norman #bbcqt

  63. Sinead G

    RT @Unity_MoT: Oh FFS, the no blacks at Oxford crap was debunked yesterday – http://bit.ly/gchfbt – do try and keep up, Norman #bbcqt

  64. Paul Driscoll

    Yeah RT @Unity_MoT: Oh FFS, the no blacks at Oxford crap was debunked yesterday – http://bit.ly/gchfbt – do try and keep up, Norman #bbcqt

  65. Sinead G

    @BevaniteEllie more to those shameful Oxbridge stats than the headlines suggest: http://tinyurl.com/23fous5 http://tinyurl.com/3yb8866

  66. Andy Buckley

    RT @Unity_MoT: Oh FFS, the no blacks at Oxford crap was debunked yesterday – http://bit.ly/gchfbt – do try and keep up, Norman #bbcqt

  67. Helen Keen

    RT @libcon: Oxbridge isn’t racist – but it’s failing the working class http://bit.ly/fk1k9p

  68. Three good and bad arguments for tuition fees | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] benefit. The dirty truth is that, for many working class kids, getting into university is a poisoned chalice. And even if such kids do well at university and become economically successful, they do so at huge […]





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