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Universities shun black students

DISCRIMINATION: Black students less likely to get University offer

BLACK STUDENTS are less likely to get a university offer than their white British or mixed-ethnicity counterparts because of racial discrimination, a London School of Economics (LSE) study suggests.

The research, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, shows that applicants from non-mixed ‘race’ minority groups are significantly less likely to be offered a university place even after taking into account academic attainment, family social class background, sex and the type of school attended.

According to the study Pakistani, Bangladeshi and black students were most affected by the discrimination. Black Africans received five fewer offers for every 100 applications than equivalent white British applicants. However, mixed ‘race’ groups seemed less affected.

The study concluded that is “plausible” that the differences between ethnicities could be down to direct racial discrimination by universities.

Released this week, the Black and Minority Ethnic Access to Higher Education: A Reassessment, suggested that universities could be discriminating on the basis of applicants’ names.

Dr Michael Shiner, Associate Professor in LSE’s Department of Social Policy told the Nuffield Foundation: “We know that students from black and minority ethnic groups go to university in good numbers, but our analysis raises concerns about the fairness of the admissions process.”

Tariq Modood, Professor of Sociology, Politics and Public Policy at the University of Bristol, added: “Young people from lower social class backgrounds and some ethnic minority groups are less likely to attend schools that are geared towards getting pupils into higher education or to come from families that are familiar with the application process.

“Having access to good advice from teachers to help students choose the right combination of A-levels and write a good personal statement can have a massive impact. We need universities to do more work with schools to ensure that the process is fair to all.”

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