Britain’s ethnic minority students are less likely than their white British peers to receive offers from UK universities, research suggests.
A study, by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), analysed university applications made in 2008 by 50,000 would-be students, BBC reported. Degree applications from 12 minority groups analysed were “significantly” less likely to result in an offer.
Universities UK said institutions were actively addressing the issue. The report found that even after academic achievement, family social background and the type of school a student attended were taken into account, most minority groups were still much less likely to win a university place.
The only exceptions were mixed white/Asian and Chinese university candidates, who did not have a significantly lower chance of getting an offer.
The academics calculated that on average, Pakistani candidates received seven fewer offers for every 100 applications compared with white British applicants, whilst Bangladeshi and black African students received five fewer offers and black Caribbean youngsters received three fewer.
The research also found that around 71% of applications from white British students to elite institutions – those with the most competitive entry requirements – resulted in an offer, more than for any other group.
At the other end of the scale, around 49% of applications to these universities from Bangladeshi students resulted in offers, along with 52% of those from Pakistani young people.
The LSE researchers also looked at the types of universities to which different ethnic groups were likely to apply. They found that once qualifications, socio-economic status and schooling were taken into account, there was “very little” evidence that candidates from black and minority ethnic groups were reluctant or unwilling to apply to high-status institutions.
“When other variables are taken into account, candidates from most black and minority ethnic groups are just as, if not more, likely to target elite universities than comparable white British candidates,” the report concludes.
All the applications examined by the LSE researchers were under 21 years of age and had a minimum of two A-levels or equivalent qualifications.