Working-class white students were barred from a Cambridge postgraduate course to “give opportunities to students from underrepresented groups”.
- Students from underrepresented groups were able to enroll in the course.
- The decision was then reversed to base applicants on socioeconomic factors.
It was reported that the University of Cambridge banned working-class white students from attending one of its graduate courses.
Instead, students from underrepresented groups were given the opportunity to enroll in the course at the prestigious institution.
The School of Arts and Humanities (SAH) at the University of Cambridge announced ‘an exciting new wider participation project’ to ‘give students from underrepresented groups an opportunity to experience postgraduate research at Cambridge’, The Sunday Telegraph informed.
The school told its professors that it was “more reliant on Oxbridge applicants than most other schools” at the university.
It was reported that around 40 per cent of the school’s applicants come from Oxbridge roads, compared to 25 to 30 per cent at the entire university.
The school told its professors that it was “more reliant on Oxbridge applicants than most other schools” at the university. Pictured: Aerial drone view of King’s College Cambridge
The school said the scheme was then introduced to address this as there were “massive supply gaps between the Oxbridge path and others, and most of our underrepresented groups apply from outside Oxbridge”.
Teachers at the school were told: The Sunday Telegraph reported: ‘The program will be advertised for second or third year UG (undergraduate) students of black, black British, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or British-Pakistani, British-Bangladeshi studying in traditional research-intensive universities, who plan to continue their studies in 2024’.
The announcement sparked outrage among many who were angered by the non-white requirement.
The university has since reversed this scheme following concerns raised by many in the university community. The program has now opened up to a broader group defined by socioeconomic factors rather than race, which included working-class white students.
Professor David Abulafia of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, said The Sunday Telegraph: ‘It’s good that the program has been recalibrated so that the criteria is handicap instead of race.
‘The racial criteria seemed to assume that non-white students are automatically disadvantaged. Isn’t that a bit racist?
The school’s announcement sparked outrage among many who were angered by the non-white requirement. Pictured: King’s College Chapel and Clare College Cambridge
A second Cambridge theology professor, Dr. James Orr, said The Sunday Telegraph: ‘(This) kind of opportunity surely should be available to everyone on the basis of merit and need, not ethnicity.
‘Ethnic minority college students don’t need a helping hand from the university to advance to graduate research.’
The university program provides the opportunity for four interns to spend six weeks at the university during the summer. They will be paid actual living wage and will be provided housing on campus. Students will work 35 hours each week before writing a 4,000 word essay.