Institutional Discrimination 101 – No, Really

Everyone and their brothers has been circulating this but it bears repeating:

“A bleak portrait of racial and social exclusion at Oxford and Cambridge has been shown in official data which shows that more than 20 Oxbridge colleges made no offers to black candidates for undergraduate courses last year and one Oxford college has not admitted a single black student in five years.”

Of course, the question is immediately raised of qualified candidates (would we ever make such assumptions if this were the other way around?). And yet:

“The most selective universities argue that poor attainment at school level narrows the pool from which candidates can be drawn. But black candidates are more likely to apply to elite universities.

In 2009, more than 29,000 white students got three As or better at A-level (excluding general studies) and about 28.4% applied to Oxford; while 452 black students got three As or better, and nearly half applied to Oxford.


“Of the black Caribbean students getting straight As at A-level, the vast majority apply to Oxbridge…. those who do choose to apply have a much lower success rate [than white applicants]. One in five in comparison with one in three for white students. That doesn’t seem to have shifted for the last 15 years.” A boom in university participation in recent years has led to a more diverse student body, but black students are concentrated in a handful of institutions. In 2007-08 the University of East London had half as many black students as the entire Russell group of 20 universities, which include Oxford and Cambridge.”

Which is the exact definition of institutional discrimination.

And we also know that knowledge of such low admission rates can turn into self-exclusion:

“”On open days, some black kids would see me and say ‘you’re the only black person we’ve seen here – is it even worth us applying?'””

La Reproduction, people, it still works.

2 thoughts on “Institutional Discrimination 101 – No, Really

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Institutional Discrimination 101 – No, Really | The Global Sociology Blog --

  2. on the assumptions if it were the other way around, on recent evidence the answer is no.

    Last week there was an article in the Globe & Mail about vet school admissions in Ontario. Apparently they are overwhelmingly women. The fact that these women are highly qualified was barely mentioned in a piece that focused on how we convince men to go into veterinary medicine and fears about the feminization of the field.

    It seems that as soon as we actually deal with some of the institutional discrimination, we need to panic about the poor white men.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>