Lord Patten, Chancellor of Oxford University, has criticised the idea of imposing quotas on the admission of students, including BME students and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. He stated that any plan to introduce minimum numbers of students from diverse backgrounds would lower academic standards.Lord Patten made these comments following a Government proposal that would require all universities to publish data about the ethnicity, gender and socio-economic background of their students. This has been described by Jo Johnson, the minister for universities, as a “transparency revolution”.In response, members of Merton JCR, noting that only 13 per cent of students identify as BME, have proposed a motion to denounce the Chancellor’s comment and demand an apology.The motion called Patten’s comments “reprehensible insofar as they rely on the assumption that deliberately increasing the proportion of BME students at Oxford via quotas would entail a lowering standards, since it is clear that many highly capable students are turned away from Oxford every year, and that BME students are disproportionately rejected.”Ministers are also looking to improve transparency in other areas, including forcing universities to publish information about graduate employment and the number of contact hours for each of the courses they offer.In addition, the Queen’s speech to education given on Thursday, announced a bill making it easier for new universities to open. The bill also reforms funding to link it to the quality of teaching. Funding had previously been linked to the number of students.The increase in transparency has been cautiously welcomed by some students. Nermeen Hilton, a Balliol student, said, “I think that an increase in transparency in the higher education system would have a positive impact because it could discourage institutional prejudice. Having more information about the course and job prospects after graduation will definitely help people make better decisions about where they apply to.“However,” he continued, “the problem with universities publishing admissions data is it may lead to them trying to create the right statistics, rather than letting the best candidates in or actually addressing the underlying issues.”“Having more information about the course and job prospects will help people make better decisions”Nermeen HiltonDespite Lord Patten’s opposition to quotas, Oxford University has defended its own record on transparency. “Oxford has published detailed information on our access and admissions performance for two decades, and would welcome similar transparency across higher education,” a spokesperson told Cherwell.“We continue to make strong and sustained progress on access: For entry in 2016, the proportion of offers going to UK state school candidates rose to more than 59 per cent,” the University said. “The latest figures also show the University exceeding, meeting or making significant progress towards all four of its ambitious OFFA Access Agreement targets, including student numbers from schools with historically limited progression to Oxford, and students from neighbourhoods with low participation in higher education.”Lord Patten’s statement is the latest in a series of controversial statements made by the Chancellor, most recently in an article for Project Syndicate in which he claimed that universities in China and Hong Kong are facing threats from the government to free speech and their autonomy.
Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Russell (Russ) Brown, 53, of Champaign, Ill., died at 9 p.m. on March 16, 2015 at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, following a lengthy and courageous battle against cancer.Russell was born on April 18, 1961 in Wellington to Ralph and Velda Brown. He graduated from Wellington Senior High School in 1979, and then attended Wichita State University where he graduated in May, 1984 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science.After graduation from college, he held positions at Excel Corporation and the Wichita Public Schools and A.B. Chance Company in Centralia, Missouri. He joined Communications Data Group in Champaign, IL on September 11, 1995, where he was currently employed as a software developer.Russell enjoyed music, especially marching band music, and was a big fan of John Philip Sousa compositions. He enjoyed playing percussion instruments and was a member of the Parkland College Concert Band. He also enjoyed reading, movies, traveling and biking.Russell is survived by his parents, Ralph and Velda Brown and brother, Lance Brown, all of Scottsdale, AZ. There will be no funeral services. Burial will be at a later date in Scottsdale, AZ.Memorial Contributions may be made to St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital (www.stjude.org), American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org), Fisher House Foundation (www.fisherhouse.org), or First Christian Church, 123 W. 9th St.; Wellington, KS. 67152.Follow us on Twitter.