Race Row Reopens After PM Roasting

Attacks from David Cameron and Nick Clegg on Oxbridge admission policies have thrown the matter back into the public spotlight, but they face stinging criticism.

admissions andy mcgowan cambridge students cambridge universiy david cameron Nick Clegg oxford university

The government is facing a backlash from Oxford and Cambridge after David Cameron and Nick Clegg both attacked the unis over their admissions policies.

At a press conference in Yorkshire, the PM made the claim that The Other Place had offered only one black student a place in 2009, calling the institution “disgraceful.”

But angry Oxonians hit back at him, accusing Cameron of quoting “inaccurate and highly misleading” figures. Their stats show that while only one black student of Caribbean descent was offered a place, a total of 41 black and mixed race students were actually admitted that year.

A uni spokesman also pointed out that these figures do not include students such as post-grads or internationals. The uni claims that 22% of Oxford students in 2009 were from ethnic minorities.

David Cameron speaking at the conference in Yorkshire

CUSU Access and Funding Officer Andy McGowan also brushed off the claims. He told The Tab: Ethnic minority representation is not something which universities alone can be blamed for, no matter how much certain politicans would like them to.

“The fact that black students make up just 1.2% of degree applicants who secure three A grades at A Level and that fewer than one in four students eligible for free school meals achieve five C grades at GCSE is a problem which only the government can begin to tackle, not university admissions offices.”

But Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg backed Cameron by further attacking Oxbridge, blasting them for not reflecting society well enough. He repeated statements made earlier this year that universities will be required to meet government access targets if they wish to charge the maximum tuition fees of £9 000.

Attacks on Oxbridge admissions policy are by no means new. MP David Lammy last year released controversial figures to also accuse the unis of not letting enough black students in. Most of his accusations were easily disproved, but he gained substantial media attention for them.