31st January

Writing in the Sunday Times, the Prime Minister complained that only 1 in 10 of the poorest white boys go into higher education at all, while “there are no black generals in our armed forces and just 4% of chief executives in the FTSE 100 are from ethnic minorities”. Cameron said that the government’s life chances strategy to be published this month will outline ways to address this, but also highlighted that universities should do more. He striking said that in 2014 “Oxford, accepted just 27 black men and women out of an intake of more than 2,500,” adding that “white British men from poor backgrounds are 5 times less likely to go into higher education than others”. This was said in reference to a Sutton Trust’s report later in the week on Oxbridge Admissions.

He said following the plans for universities to introduce name-blind applications is only part of this and added that the upcoming Higher Education reforms will place a new transparency duty on universities to publish data routinely about the people who apply to their institution, the subject they want to study, and who gets offered a place. This will include a full breakdown of the ethnic, gender and socio-economic breakdown for applications, entry, and retention in key disciplines at all higher education institutions.

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