There Are Only 200 Black-British Undergraduates At The University Of Cambridge Yet It’s Being Heralded As Success

Yes, having a 50% rise in black students at Cambridge is great, but the fact that 200 students of 12,000 in total is a 'record-high' is nothing to be proud of.

Woman studying at university

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

The University of Cambridge has released a statement praising themselves for enrolling a ‘record number’ of black undergraduate students after ‘hard work’ from admissions staff to make the university seem more inclusive.

Cambridge report on their website that 91 black British students have been admitted in the 2019/20 academic year, the near 50% rise in admissions means that there will be 200 black undergraduates studying at Cambridge – something they refer to as ‘an all-time high’. According to the latest figures from 2016, the total amount of undergraduates at Cambridge around 12,077.

The senior pro-vice-chancellor, Professor Graham Virgo, reiterated multiple times (for no apparent reason) that they did not need to ‘lower standards’ to facilitate the rise in black undergraduates. Yes, really.

‘This record rise in the number of black students is a credit to their hard work and ability: we have not lowered entry standards,’ he said. ‘It is also a credit to the hard work put in by admissions staff across the University and Colleges in running various outreach activities, and the positive campaigns run by our student societies and external partners. We have achieved this without any reduction in offer levels or provision of preferential treatment.’

While the university is crediting their own work for encouraging black students to apply, they acknowledge that Stormzy has had a vital role in facilitating low-income black students going to Cambridge – something they’re dubbing the ‘Stormzy effect’.

‘In August 2018, the award-winning British grime artist announced he would fund tuition fees and living costs for two students each year for the duration of their study at Cambridge,’ their statement read. ‘Since then the University has seen an increase in the number of black students engage in its outreach activities and enquire about its courses.’

Essentially, the statement is a wild ride into the psyche of gatekeepers who seem to feel that representation is an achievement. . Yes, it’s great that there are record numbers of black students at Cambridge, but hailing themselves as heroes not excluding an entire demographic of people based on the colour of their skin is obscene.

The student body may be more diverse, but it's still not diverse enough. 200 black British students out of 12,000 in total is nothing to be proud of.

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