Monday, July 22, 2013
Britain: White children are less likely to continue their eduction at university than any other ethnic group, official figures reveal
Fewer than 29% leave school with the aim of starting an undergraduate course – compared with 57% among Chinese children and 41% of South Asian pupils. Black children – once the worst-performing ethnic group in schools – are now the third most ambitious, with an application rate of 34%. White children have long trailed behind Chinese and Asian pupils in terms of chasing university places. But the figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service show they have been bypassed by other groups. They also come behind two wider categories used by Ucas – mixed race children (31%), and all other ethnic groups (33%). Ucas chief executive Mary Curnock Cook said: "Our new analysis of demand by ethnic group shows that white pupils at English schools now have the lowest application rate of any ethnic group. There has been significant growth in demand from black pupils." Chief schools inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has published a major report which found under-achievement is now most pronounced among white working-class children in suburbs, market towns and seaside resorts. Previously, black children from inner-city schools had presented the biggest problem. White children still make up the majority of undergraduates because they are by far the largest ethnic group. But the Ucas figures, which relate to 18-year-olds at state schools, show that applications by white boys and girls have dropped for the last three years. The largest increase has been among black pupils, whose application rate has soared by 70% since 2006. Of course, thanks to policies such as affirmative action, white students have been sent the message that they are not wanted at British universities.