Cameron in row with Oxford over black students
David Cameron was embroiled in a race row with Oxford University yesterday after claiming that only one black student had started studying at the university last year.
The Prime Minister made his comments while defending the Government's controversial tuition fees policy at an event in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
Asked whether tuition fees of £9,000 a year would put off students from poorer backgrounds, he said top universities needed to attract those students. "I saw figures the other day that showed only one black person went to Oxford last year," he added. "I think that is disgraceful. We have got to do better than that."
However, Oxford University immediately issued a statement saying that the figure was "highly misleading". It referred only to UK undergraduates from Afro-Caribbean backgrounds in a single year – 2009/10. In fact, it said, in that year 41 undergraduates with black backgrounds were admitted to the university. In addition, 22 per cent of Oxford's total student population came from ethnic minority groups.
"The figure quoted by the Prime Minister is incorrect and highly misleading," said a spokeswoman for the university.
"It refers to UK undergraduates of black Caribbean origin for a single year of entry, when in fact that year Oxford admitted 41 UK undergraduates with black backgrounds."
The figure first emerged last October when Mike Nicholson, Oxford's director of admissions, said: "What is worrying is that only 71 black Caribbean students in all of the UK achieved three grade As [at A-level] out of nearly 36,000 overall."
Oxford is one of 27 universities to have declared that it plans to charge the full £9,000 a year tuition fee when the present cap is lifted in September 2012. Two-thirds of all the universities that have declared their hand are opting for the maximum.
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner's mother Ester thought her daughter, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, had transitioned for money
- 2 Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
- 3 Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 5 Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
£6 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued expansion, they are loo...
£45000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Development & Relati...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Personal Assistant is require...
£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...