Applicants of colour still less likely to receive an Oxford offer

first_imgNew admissions data released by Ucas has revealed a continued racial deficit in Oxford admissions. Of the 2,555 offers made in for 2016 entry just 45 were to black applicants, compared to 2,090 to white applicants.This represents a drop compared to the 50 offers made in 2015, but is higher than every other year since 2011.The percentage of offers given to black and asian applicants was also significantly lower than the percentage rate for those that are white. Offers were made to 26.3 per cent of white applicants, but only 16.8 per cent of Asian and 16.7 per cent of black applicants.Across all universities only 70 per cent of black applicants received places, compared with 73 per cent of white applicants and 73 per cent of those from Asian backgrounds.The Ucas data also revealed continuing disparity in terms of the wealth of applicants. Oxford received over 5,000 applications from the richest fifth of teenagers but just 420 from the poorest fifth. Of those that did apply 20.2 per cent of the poorest received offers compared to 26.2 per cent of the richest. The data follows David Lammy’s critique of Oxford’s “unconscious bias” that he claimed systematically disadvantages applicants from ethnic minority backgrounds. The Labour MP, speaking at a symposium at Lady Margaret Hall, said that “we all tend to recruit in our own image”. Dr Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at the University of Oxford, told Cherwell: “The number of offers given to students from Black, Asian and mixed-heritage backgrounds has risen significantly over the past five years, which is encouraging. “However, we are aware that there is still work to be done, particularly in terms of offer rates to Black and Asian students. “We have therefore introduced a number of tailored outreach programmes aimed at high-achieving students from under-represented groups, which we hope will pay dividends in the coming years and help make Oxford an even more diverse community.”In terms of gender the picture is more balanced, with young women and men securing Oxford offers at exactly the same rate. 1,275 applicants of each gender were made offers, however 30 fewer women applied than men.This meant that for the second time ever a higher proportion of female 18 year olds were given offers than male 18 year olds, as there are fewer female 18 year olds in the population.Dr Wendy Piatt, Russell Group director general, said: “The root causes of under-representation are complex and a wide range of factors need to be taken into account to fully understand them.“Our universities are working tirelessly to encourage bright candidates to apply as we want talented, able students from all backgrounds to know that a place at our universities is well within reach.”last_img read more

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Democrats Casey, Sciarra Seeking Freeholder Seats

first_imgBy DONALD WITTKOWSKIDemocrats Liz Casey and Brendan Sciarra are pushing for change on a Cape May County freeholder board completely controlled by Republicans.Heading toward the Nov. 3 election, they have made that the central theme of their campaign while seeking the two open seats this year on the five-member body that oversees county government.“We want to stop the business as usual,” said Casey, an Ocean City attorney. “We need to create greater transparency, because when there is only one party on the freeholder board, it lacks oversight and a dissenting point of view.”Sciarra, a businessman in Wildwood, believes the freeholder board is long overdue for representation from the Democratic Party.“We want to have a bipartisan view, instead of a one-way view on the freeholder board,” he said. “That’s what we have had for 20 years.”Casey and Sciarra said their top priorities are to abolish nepotism in hiring, end conflicts of interest and scrutinize county spending.“I think we have to see where all of our dollars are going, specifically,” Casey said. “I think you have to be on the freeholder board to get a specific understanding of that.”Casey believes that a “deep dive” into the budget is needed to see if there is any unnecessary spending that is pushing up the tax rate.“The freeholders tout the low county tax rate. But that is misleading,” she said. “Cape May County spends $1,900 per resident. Atlantic County spends $800. In Cumberland County, it’s $1,100 per resident.”She also questions how the county prioritizes its spending. She wants more money dedicated to maintaining the county’s bridges and roads and the veterans cemetery.Sciarra and Casey want to scrutinize the county’s spending.Sciarra believes Cape May County is not getting its fair share of funding from the New Jersey Department of Transportation for road and bridge projects. He also said more money needs to be spent for programs to help fight drug abuse.Drawing on his experience in the business world, Sciarra said he hopes to bring “common sense solutions” to county government.“I’m a problem-solver. I’ll work across party lines to get the job done,” he said.He said if he is elected freeholder, one of the first things he plans to do is to meet with county employees to get their feedback.“My first order of business is to sit down and listen to all department heads and employees, from the bottom to the top, to just understand their perspective of the county – of what it needs and what is lacking,” he said.Running county government is more of a “collective effort instead of a one-way effort,” he added.As the campaign heads into the final weeks, Casey and Sciarra plan to continue to reach out to Cape May County’s unaffiliated voters in hopes they can swing the election in their favor.“I think what we need to do is to appeal to these voters,” Casey said. “It’s motivating those unaffiliated voters to turn out for the election that is the path to victory.”Candidate bios:Liz Casey:Occupation: Attorney in Ocean City.Background: Formerly served as senior counsel at the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.Family life: Married to Dr. Jerry Horowitz and resides in Upper Township. They have two children in college, Samantha and Peter.Brendan Sciarra:Occupation: Owns three businesses in Wildwood.Background: Serves as chairman of the Cape May County Democratic Party. He is a third-generation resident of Cape May County.Family life: He and his wife, Robin, have three young children, Michael, Kai and Brendan, and live in Wildwood Crest. Brendan Sciarra and Liz Casey are the Democratic candidates for the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders. (Photos courtesy of the Sciarra and Casey campaign)last_img read more

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