Downing Street refused to back down last night, as they continue to defend Cameron’s denouncement of Oxford as ‘disgraceful’ based on the figures which reveal just one black student won a place to study at Oxford in 2009.

Cameron spoke out on Monday 11th April, during a local election campaign visit to Harrogate, North Yorkshire. He said, ‘I saw figures the other day that showed that only one black person went to Oxford last year. I think that is disgraceful, we have got to do better than that.’
The University quickly hit back, claiming that the figure on which Cameron was commenting is ‘incorrect and highly misleading’.
Oxford clarified that the statistic is misleading, as it only refers to UK undergraduates of black Caribbean origin for a single year of entry, so is not representative of all Oxford’s students.
The University added that in 2009, Oxford admitted 41 UK undergraduates with black backgrounds, and that year 22% of Oxford’s total student population came from ethnic minority backgrounds.
A spokesperson for the University said, ‘The ‘only one black student at Oxford’ story is a misleading one from last year, and refers specifically to ONLY [sic] UK undergraduates of black Caribbean descent who gave us information about their ethnicity – NOT all black students, or even all black undergraduates.
‘The full picture tells a different story: in 2009 27 black British undergraduate students got a place at Oxford, as did 14 of mixed backgrounds including black heritage.’
However, Downing Street stood by Cameron’s comments: ‘The wider point he was making was that it was not acceptable for universities such as Oxford to have so few students coming from black and ethnic minority groups.’
This media storm has provoked mixed reactions among Oxford students. Ayo Ajanaku, a third year medic and former OULC Co-Chair, said that he found the figure that only one black student was admitted in 2009 ‘not a disgrace in itself, but deeply alarming’.
He said, ‘The overwhelming implication is that scores of young people are being denied the opportunity to achieve standards expected by leading universities, and therefore to contribute their full potential to society. This sledgehammer to social mobility for Britain’s disadvantaged is truly shameful.’
Ajanaku felt that the statistic on which Cameron was commenting on was ‘patently misleading’ but that it did point to some underlying issues.
‘The underrepresentation of black people is inextricably linked to the underrepresentation of poorer households more generally. Black people are more likely to have a lower socioeconomic status than their white counterparts. There is an onus on the university to encourage more able black students to apply, and to constantly review the transparency and fairness of the admissions process.’
Alex Bulfin, OUSU VP for Access and Academic Affairs, noted that the blame for social inequalities cannot be pinned solely on Oxford.
Bulfin asked, ‘Why doesn’t David Cameron find it ‘disgraceful’ that in 2009 only 452 black students in the whole country achieved AAA at A-level, compared to 29,000 white students? Or that black students and their families are disproportionately more likely to come from the lowest socio-economic groups? In seeking a convenient scapegoat, Cameron, Clegg and Lammy are willfully ignoring the deeper issues that are at play in our society.’
The oft quoted ‘one black student’ statistic came about as a result of a Freedom of Information request, put forward by the Labour MP David Lammy in November 2009.
Bulfin said that far from helping the issues of access at Oxford, the manner that such statistics are being ‘flung around by politicians’ is ‘frankly dangerous and irresponsible’.
He continued, ‘There’s no question in my mind that every time the press or politicians target these sorts of comments at Oxford, they make our job of widening access and participation in HE just that extra bit harder. When these stories first started circulating earlier in the year, we immediately noticed more prospective students expressing concern about whether they would fit in at Oxford if they were from a minority background.
‘I think it’s clear that pushing these sorts of messages is all about scoring PR points and pointing the finger; if politicians were serious about access to university for students then they wouldn’t have scrapped AimHigher earlier this year.’
Cameron spoke out on Monday 11th April, during a local election campaign visit to Harrogate, North Yorkshire. He said, ‘I saw figures the other day that showed that only one black person went to Oxford last year. I think that is disgraceful, we have got to do better than that.’
The University quickly hit back, claiming that the figure on which Cameron was commenting is ‘incorrect and highly misleading’.
Oxford clarified that the statistic is misleading, as it only refers to UK undergraduates of black Caribbean origin for a single year of entry, so is not representative of all Oxford’s students.
The University added that in 2009, Oxford admitted 41 UK undergraduates with black backgrounds, and that year 22% of Oxford’s total student population came from ethnic minority backgrounds.
A spokesperson for the University said, ‘The ‘only one black student at Oxford’ story is a misleading one from last year, and refers specifically to ONLY [sic] UK undergraduates of black Caribbean descent who gave us information about their ethnicity – NOT all black students, or even all black undergraduates.
‘The full picture tells a different story: in 2009 27 black British undergraduate students got a place at Oxford, as did 14 of mixed backgrounds including black heritage.’
However, Downing Street stood by Cameron’s comments: ‘The wider point he was making was that it was not acceptable for universities such as Oxford to have so few students coming from black and ethnic minority groups.’
This media storm has provoked mixed reactions among Oxford students. Ayo Ajanaku, a third year medic and former OULC Co-Chair, said that he found the figure that only one black student was admitted in 2009 ‘not a disgrace in itself, but deeply alarming’.
He said, ‘The overwhelming implication is that scores of young people are being denied the opportunity to achieve standards expected by leading universities, and therefore to contribute their full potential to society. This sledgehammer to social mobility for Britain’s disadvantaged is truly shameful.’
Ajanaku felt that the statistic on which Cameron was commenting on was ‘patently misleading’ but that it did point to some underlying issues.
‘The underrepresentation of black people is inextricably linked to the underrepresentation of poorer households more generally. Black people are more likely to have a lower socioeconomic status than their white counterparts. There is an onus on the university to encourage more able black students to apply, and to constantly review the transparency and fairness of the admissions process.’
Alex Bulfin, OUSU VP for Access and Academic Affairs, noted that the blame for social inequalities cannot be pinned solely on Oxford.
Bulfin asked, ‘Why doesn’t David Cameron find it ‘disgraceful’ that in 2009 only 452 black students in the whole country achieved AAA at A-level, compared to 29,000 white students? Or that black students and their families are disproportionately more likely to come from the lowest socio-economic groups? In seeking a convenient scapegoat, Cameron, Clegg and Lammy are willfully ignoring the deeper issues that are at play in our society.’
The oft quoted ‘one black student’ statistic came about as a result of a Freedom of Information request, put forward by the Labour MP David Lammy in November 2009.
Bulfin said that far from helping the issues of access at Oxford, the manner that such statistics are being ‘flung around by politicians’ is ‘frankly dangerous and irresponsible’.
He continued, ‘There’s no question in my mind that every time the press or politicians target these sorts of comments at Oxford, they make our job of widening access and participation in HE just that extra bit harder. When these stories first started circulating earlier in the year, we immediately noticed more prospective students expressing concern about whether they would fit in at Oxford if they were from a minority background.
‘I think it’s clear that pushing these sorts of messages is all about scoring PR points and pointing the finger; if politicians were serious about access to university for students then they wouldn’t have scrapped AimHigher earlier this year.’

Downing Street refused to back down last night, as they continue to defend Cameron’s denouncement of Oxford as ‘disgraceful’ based on the figures which reveal just one black student won a place to study at Oxford in 2009.

Cameron spoke out on Monday 11th April, during a local election campaign visit to Harrogate, North Yorkshire. He said, ‘I saw figures the other day that showed that only one black person went to Oxford last year. I think that is disgraceful, we have got to do better than that.’
The University quickly hit back, claiming that the figure on which Cameron was commenting is ‘incorrect and highly misleading’.

Oxford clarified that the statistic is misleading, as it only refers to UK undergraduates of black Caribbean origin for a single year of entry, so is not representative of all Oxford’s students.
The University added that in 2009, Oxford admitted 41 UK undergraduates with black backgrounds, and that year 22% of Oxford’s total student population came from ethnic minority backgrounds.

A spokesperson for the University said, ‘The ‘only one black student at Oxford’ story is a misleading one from last year, and refers specifically to ONLY [sic] UK undergraduates of black Caribbean descent who gave us information about their ethnicity – NOT all black students, or even all black undergraduates.

‘The full picture tells a different story: in 2009 27 black British undergraduate students got a place at Oxford, as did 14 of mixed backgrounds including black heritage.’
However, Downing Street stood by Cameron’s comments: ‘The wider point he was making was that it was not acceptable for universities such as Oxford to have so few students coming from black and ethnic minority groups.’

This media storm has provoked mixed reactions among Oxford students. Ayo Ajanaku, a third year medic and former OULC Co-Chair, said that he found the figure that only one black student was admitted in 2009 ‘not a disgrace in itself, but deeply alarming’.

He said, ‘The overwhelming implication is that scores of young people are being denied the opportunity to achieve standards expected by leading universities, and therefore to contribute their full potential to society. This sledgehammer to social mobility for Britain’s disadvantaged is truly shameful.’

Ajanaku felt that the statistic on which Cameron was commenting on was ‘patently misleading’ but that it did point to some underlying issues.

‘The underrepresentation of black people is inextricably linked to the underrepresentation of poorer households more generally. Black people are more likely to have a lower socioeconomic status than their white counterparts. There is an onus on the university to encourage more able black students to apply, and to constantly review the transparency and fairness of the admissions process.’

Alex Bulfin, OUSU VP for Access and Academic Affairs, noted that the blame for social inequalities cannot be pinned solely on Oxford.

Bulfin asked, ‘Why doesn’t David Cameron find it ‘disgraceful’ that in 2009 only 452 black students in the whole country achieved AAA at A-level, compared to 29,000 white students? Or that black students and their families are disproportionately more likely to come from the lowest socio-economic groups? In seeking a convenient scapegoat, Cameron, Clegg and Lammy are willfully ignoring the deeper issues that are at play in our society.’

The oft quoted ‘one black student’ statistic came about as a result of a Freedom of Information request, put forward by the Labour MP David Lammy in November 2009.

Bulfin said that far from helping the issues of access at Oxford, the manner that such statistics are being ‘flung around by politicians’ is ‘frankly dangerous and irresponsible’.

He continued, ‘There’s no question in my mind that every time the press or politicians target these sorts of comments at Oxford, they make our job of widening access and participation in HE just that extra bit harder. When these stories first started circulating earlier in the year, we immediately noticed more prospective students expressing concern about whether they would fit in at Oxford if they were from a minority background.

‘I think it’s clear that pushing these sorts of messages is all about scoring PR points and pointing the finger; if politicians were serious about access to university for students then they wouldn’t have scrapped AimHigher earlier this year.’

Cameron spoke out on Monday 11th April, during a local election campaign visit to Harrogate, North Yorkshire. He said, ‘I saw figures the other day that showed that only one black person went to Oxford last year. I think that is disgraceful, we have got to do better than that.’
The University quickly hit back, claiming that the figure on which Cameron was commenting is ‘incorrect and highly misleading’.

Oxford clarified that the statistic is misleading, as it only refers to UK undergraduates of black Caribbean origin for a single year of entry, so is not representative of all Oxford’s students.
The University added that in 2009, Oxford admitted 41 UK undergraduates with black backgrounds, and that year 22% of Oxford’s total student population came from ethnic minority backgrounds.

A spokesperson for the University said, ‘The ‘only one black student at Oxford’ story is a misleading one from last year, and refers specifically to ONLY [sic] UK undergraduates of black Caribbean descent who gave us information about their ethnicity – NOT all black students, or even all black undergraduates.

‘The full picture tells a different story: in 2009 27 black British undergraduate students got a place at Oxford, as did 14 of mixed backgrounds including black heritage.’However, Downing Street stood by Cameron’s comments: ‘The wider point he was making was that it was not acceptable for universities such as Oxford to have so few students coming from black and ethnic minority groups.’

This media storm has provoked mixed reactions among Oxford students. Ayo Ajanaku, a third year medic and former OULC Co-Chair, said that he found the figure that only one black student was admitted in 2009 ‘not a disgrace in itself, but deeply alarming’.He said, ‘The overwhelming implication is that scores of young people are being denied the opportunity to achieve standards expected by leading universities, and therefore to contribute their full potential to society. This sledgehammer to social mobility for Britain’s disadvantaged is truly shameful.’

Ajanaku felt that the statistic on which Cameron was commenting on was ‘patently misleading’ but that it did point to some underlying issues.’The underrepresentation of black people is inextricably linked to the underrepresentation of poorer households more generally. Black people are more likely to have a lower socioeconomic status than their white counterparts. There is an onus on the university to encourage more able black students to apply, and to constantly review the transparency and fairness of the admissions process.’

Alex Bulfin, OUSU VP for Access and Academic Affairs, noted that the blame for social inequalities cannot be pinned solely on Oxford.Bulfin asked, ‘Why doesn’t David Cameron find it ‘disgraceful’ that in 2009 only 452 black students in the whole country achieved AAA at A-level, compared to 29,000 white students? Or that black students and their families are disproportionately more likely to come from the lowest socio-economic groups? In seeking a convenient scapegoat, Cameron, Clegg and Lammy are willfully ignoring the deeper issues that are at play in our society.’The oft quoted ‘one black student’ statistic came about as a result of a Freedom of Information request, put forward by the Labour MP David Lammy in November 2009.Bulfin said that far from helping the issues of access at Oxford, the manner that such statistics are being ‘flung around by politicians’ is ‘frankly dangerous and irresponsible’.He continued, ‘There’s no question in my mind that every time the press or politicians target these sorts of comments at Oxford, they make our job of widening access and participation in HE just that extra bit harder. When these stories first started circulating earlier in the year, we immediately noticed more prospective students expressing concern about whether they would fit in at Oxford if they were from a minority background.

‘I think it’s clear that pushing these sorts of messages is all about scoring PR points and pointing the finger; if politicians were serious about access to university for students then they wouldn’t have scrapped AimHigher earlier this year.’