Oxford colleges back in the press again for its lack of candidate diversity…


http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/dec/06/oxford-colleges-no-black-students

An interesting article raising an important issue…but we’ve heard this all before!

This is certainly not the first time the Oxbridge selection systems have been brought to the public arena. As a former Oxford graduate myself, I remember questioning the reality of my surroundings and often asked myself whether I was actually living in the 21st century UK…

I was probably one of three black students in my year. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Oxford (I didn’t go around with ‘racial’ categories in my mind!), but I remained astounded at the clear lack of diversity not just on a visible level, but importantly, in the university’s educational curriculum. As a student studying philosophy and theology, not once did I come across in my studies, in the books I read for my weekly tutorials, or in lectures I attended, a reference to an author or academic of an ethnic origin beyond the western perimeters. I remember I found that rather concerning. It was as though the reality of the lack of visible diversity was in fact a confirmation of the lack of any reference to any academic of black origin…but I know there are many recognised academics other than those of western originations.

Interestingly enough, I actually challenged Rob Berkeley, Director of the Runnymede Trust after a lecture at the LSE on the Parekh Report on the 23rd of last month on the issue of the educational curriculum in our universities, under-representation and the need for the Runnymede Trust to re-think its mission and strategy of being an organisation that funds research that promote racial equality to becoming one that constructively uses research to make a real difference in the workplace.

For me, the workplace is the common denominator here. If we are able to promote fairness, inclusivity and transparency in the workplace, it will lead to greater diversification at the top-tier of organisations, which in turn will promote social mobility thus ensuring that disadvantaged kids will have equal access to good schools and hence greater representation in Oxbridge institutions – leading to a change in the out-dated educational curriculum in many of our top-tier centres of learning…

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Oxford colleges back in the press again for its lack of candidate diversity…

  1. I think you could make a valuable contribition to MARDI. We need innovative solutions to problems and experts of all types. An expert on diversity is particularly welcome. Please take a look at http://mardinet.org and let me know what you think. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

    • Thank you very much for your kind comment.

      I have taken a look at MARDI’s objectives and it sounds really interesting. Id’ be happy to learn more and will look to register my interests via the links provided.

      Meanwhile, do let’s keep the communication channels open. Are you on linkedIn??

      Jude-Martin

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