What every UK university needs more of right now: White males

That’s what UCAS are saying

I can’t have been the only one to notice it. In seminar rooms and lecture theatres, at the SU bar, at the generic house nights, we’ve all been asking the same question – where have all the white men gone?  

Where the white males at? It’s a question the chief executive of UCAS has been asking very publicly today.

You’ll be as alarmed, appalled and scandalised as I am to hear that figures for this autumn’s intake show the entry rate for women has increased twice as fast as for men.

This means that women are 35 per cent more likely to go to university than men, and that 36,000 men are “missing” from universities this year – in other words, if universities were to recruit equal number of both sexes, they would have to take in 36,000 more men.

UCAS’ report stated: “This year shows that young men, and especially white young men, are falling even further behind”. It goes on to suggest outreach efforts should now be focused on young white men, ahead of any other group.

White men, doing white men things

White men, doing white men things

Now, at this point, I’m going to give you a little context, a quick top-up of some of the things white men have brought us: the atom bomb, colonialism, Facebook, WWI, folk music, square dancing, the films of Wes Anderson, WWII, the North Atlantic slave trade, zorb football, cords, Marxism.

White men, in spite and because of our infinite capacity for harm and self-harm, have had a really good crack at running the world for about 400 years now. We’ve had our fun.

Is it really so bad that more women are going to uni than white men? I’d question whether it’s really going to make any difference to society at all.

For women, university used to be a shop where they could take out a degree while they waited to get married. Now they experience it in the same way white men do – a three year holiday from responsibility, before a slow shit job filled transition into doing fuck all with your life.

If anything, UCAS should be encouraging less people to come to uni. The horizons of higher education have shrunk massively since it became an expectation that all 18-year-olds go.

Outside of Oxbridge and the London unis the picture is grim. I went to Bristol, ostensibly one of the best unis in the country and scraped a 2:1. Now I’m watching with astonishment as people I know with firsts get jobs as baristas, secretaries, recruiters.

White men dropping out of higher education won’t change the fact that higher education is shite. Cramming as many of us as possible into it hasn’t improved our understanding of society, hasn’t improved the quality of popular culture, or reduced the chasmic gap between the wealthy and the poor in this country.

Frankly, white men (and everyone else for that matter) should aim their sights a little higher and try and imagine a better world than the one UCAS is so desperate for you to join.