Target: Tim Gardam, Chairman of Oxford’s Conference of Colleges
Goal: Eliminate racial bias in student acceptance to competitive courses at Oxford University
Oxford University has recently been evidenced to demonstrate a racial bias in its acceptance of students to upper-level courses. According to information published under the Freedom of Information Act, many of Oxford’s elevated programs favor white scholars over minorities. This petition is aimed at the Conference of Colleges uniting Oxford’s many divisions, encouraging equal acceptance procedures for students of all ethnicities.
For some of the more prestigious classes at Oxford, students must apply and interview for their chance to participate. The most important qualifier for these top programs are the grades students are getting, but even among populations of hopeful students receiving similar marks, acceptance statistics for academic years 2010 and 2011 favor white students.
Although this trend of favoritism is not uniform across all of Oxford’s institutions, it is clearly present. For medicine classes, 43 percent of white students who went on to receive three or more A-level grades received offers, compared with 22.1 percent of minority students. For economics and management, 19.1 percent of white applicants received offers, compared with 9.3 percent for ethnic minorities. And across all upper level courses, 25.7 percent of white applicants received offers compared to 17.2 percent of non-whites.
Oxford has officially denied the bias evidenced by these statistics, as opined by an Oxford spokeswoman who said, “We refute any allegation of discrimination or institutional bias in strong terms and consider such allegations to be unsubstantiated and very serious.” Oxford’s rationale for this absence of discrimination leans heavily on the idea that certain ethnic groups are applying in large numbers to some of the most competitive classes, effectively reducing the statistical acceptance rate for their group. But whatever the arguments Oxford may use to blunt such compromising figures, the fact remains that there is a bias towards white students across all upper-level courses.
It is unfortunate that in this day and age, racial discrimination has become apparent in a supposed haven of enlightenment. Internationally respected establishments like Oxford should be leading the way in student diversity and educational equality. Hold the University to this standard and urge Tim Gardam to enforce unbiased acceptance of students to upper-level courses.
Dear Tim Gardam,
Information has recently been released evidencing a racial bias in acceptance of Oxford students to upper- level courses. In a batch of statistics from the academic year 2010 to 2011, significantly more white students were accepted to these competitive classes than students from minority groups.
The most unbalanced figures came from medicine classes, to which 43 percent of white students got offers compared with 22.1 percent of minorities, but there was also a bias across all of these prestigious courses.
It is unfortunate and unacceptable that racial favoritism be evidenced in a highly respected institution such as the University of Oxford. As Chairman of the Conference of Colleges, you have the power and responsibility to promote diversity and ensure equal opportunity for all ethnic groups throughout the Oxford learning experience. I have sent this letter in order to urge you to safeguard equal opportunity and enforce unbiased acceptance of students to upper-level courses.
[Your Name Here]
photo credit: Remi Mathis via Wikipedia Commons