THE UNIVERSITY OF York is less diverse than Oxbridge according to new figures produced by UCAS. In 2017 the University gave 1220 offers to Asian students and 630 offers to black students while giving 18 490 offers to white students. In total Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students received only 13.3 per cent of all offers the University gave out, although this is higher than the equivalent figures for 2016 in which 12.2 per cent of students who received offers from York were BAME students. The statistics presented for York are lower than the figures produced at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. Oxford gave 18.4 per cent of its offers to BAME students. Meanwhile Cambridge gave 21 per cent of its offers to BAME students.
In November 2017 MP for Tottenham David Lammy described Oxbridge as having a “social apartheid” when it was discovered that 1.5 per cent of offers from Oxbridge went to black students. However, York gives a small proportion of offers to black students. Only 1.8 per cent of 18 year old students who received offers from the University of York were black. UCAS data from 25 January 2018 corroborates with the Freedom of Information requests submitted by Lammy to Oxford and Cambridge. 2.3 per cent of offers given out at both Oxford and Cambridge were given to 18 year old black students. Last week Cambridge was reported to be Britain’s most unequal city.
The figures for the University of York are proportional to the local population. 1.7 per cent of the Yorkshire and the Humber population is black. In addition, Durham University has even lower representation for Black students than York does: just 1.6 per cent of 18 year old studdents who receive offers from Durham are black. Despite this, York is still slipping behind government targets for diversity. In 2015 a target was set to increase the numbers of students from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds entering Higher Education to 20 per cent. However, York will not reach this target unless there is some drastic change.
Last year the University spent £1 888 772 on trying to aid students coming to the University of York. When questioned about the money a University spokesman stated: “The University has an extensive programme of outreach to carefully targeted schools and pupil groups which aim to meet clearly identified targets for widening participation. The programme includes a mixture of measures to raise aspirations, stimulate applications from students in disadvantaged and under-represented groups, as well as activities relating to student success and progression.
“Each year we agree targets and a programme of activity with the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) through our Access Agreement. The University’s Access Agreements, including the most recent for 2018/19, are available on the OFFA website at www.offa.org.uk/access-agreements/searchresult/?prn=10007167
“Outreach to Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students is included in the activities within our Access Agreement and we work specifically in a number of areas with significantly higher BAME populations than York – for example East London and West Yorkshire.
“In the period from 2012/13 to 2017/18, the proportion of BAME first degree home entrants to the University has risen from 8.7 per cent to 13.4 per cent.
“The University provides significant support for such students. Some of this is financial – in 2018/19 we expect to distribute nearly £7mn in bursaries for example – but additional non-financial support is provided, for example, to students with disabilities and to students coming to the University as care-leavers. Our collegiate system also provides a level of support that is not available in most other universities.
“The overarching framework for equal opportunities for students at York is provided by the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (whttps://www.york.ac.uk/admin/eo/EDIStrategy/EDandI-Strategy-Nov2017.pdf ) and there is particular provision for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Services for students with disabilities are part of this but there are others: for example financial support to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in study abroad, internships and placements.”