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Toby Young
Friday 20th October 2017

It is unfair to blame Oxford for the low number of black undergraduates




David Lammy has been making headlines today, accusing Oxford of ‘social apartheid’ because it offers so few places to black British students. This claim is based on an FOI request Lammy submitted to the university asking how many black British A-level students each college has offered places to in the last six years. The most eye-catching statistic is that 10 out of 32 Oxford colleges did not offer a place to a single black British pupil with A-levels in 2015 and Oriel College has only offered one place to a black British A-level student since 2010.

There is no doubt that Oxford does admit too few black British students, but it is worth pointing out that this data has been sliced and diced to paint the bleakest possible picture. Of the 10 ‘colleges’ that didn’t make any offers to black British applicants in 2015, four are Permanent Private Halls, not full colleges, and admit very few numbers of students, black or white. Another – Harris Manchester – is a former Private Hall and only admits students aged 21 or over. (To read more, click here.)

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