Black and Asian students underrepresented and less satisfied.

‘Black and Asian students and those from disadvantaged areas face an uphill battle to be accepted at the universities of their choice, compared with their white and better-off peers, according to new statistics released by the British higher education clearing house, Ucas.

The figures, which reveal data about applications by 18-year-old students broken down by sex, ethnicity and social background at individual universities, show that black and Asian students fail to win undergraduate places with the same rate of success at the bulk of British universities as white students with similar qualifications.

Black students were particularly badly off in the admissions results, with the data for 2015 showing that 108 out of 132 universities offered a lower proportion of places than expected, using a Ucas forecast based on their predicted A-level grades and the courses to which the students applied.

In contrast, more than 100 universities offered a higher proportion of places to white applicants than their qualifications and courses would appear to justify. Just 13 universities out of the 132 offered fewer places than expected to white applicants. Some of the widest gaps in offers appeared at universities with comparatively high rates of black and Asian students enrolled.’ - Guardian

‘The annual student academic experience survey conducted by the Higher Education Policy Institute and the Higher Education Academy found that only 16 per cent UK-domiciled respondents of Chinese ethnicity, and 17 per cent of undergraduates from another Asian background, were very satisfied with their time at university.

This was well below the average score of 27 per cent among all those surveyed. Home students of black ethnicity and undergraduates from outside the European Union were also less likely to be very satisfied, with scores of 21 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively.

Non-white students were already known to be significantly less likely to get a good degree, as highlighted by separate research, with only 60 per cent of black and ethnic minority learners leaving English universities with a first or 2:1 in 2013-14, compared with 76 per cent of white undergraduates.’ – Times Higher Education

‘Ali Milani, the president of the students’ union at Brunel University, which has one of the highest proportions of BME students, said he was not surprised that student wellbeing was suffering.

“The tripling of tuition fees did not just have an economic impact, it had a psychological and cultural impact on students. We should take very seriously how the marketisation of higher education and the hike in fees has had an impact on wellbeing.”

Milani agreed with the report’s authors that one of the reasons BME students may report lower satisfaction levels is because many live at home due to financial constraints and caring responsibilities.

In addition, he said a lot of BME arts and humanities students felt the curriculum was unrepresentative of the students on the course. “Often it’s very difficult for BME students to engage with a course academically that’s very Eurocentric. A lot of students would like there to be greater diversity in their curriculum.”’ – Guardian, later article


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