Oxford University has launched a campaign to offer summer schools exclusively to white British working class boys. Theresa May drew attention to the issue claiming these boys were “less likely than anybody else in Britain to go to university”.
The Sutton Trust, a scheme offering opportunities to minority groups in the UK, provides those from less fortunate backgrounds the chance to visit and experience life at Oxford University.
The Sutton Trust released figures, as printed in The Telegraph, state: “White British boys who are eligible for free school meals achieve the lowest GCSE grades of any major ethnic group, with only a quarter (24 per cent) gaining at least five A* to C grades including English and Maths.”
With a third (32 per cent) of British white females progressing onto higher education, white British boys have become the lowest-performing ethnic group. The figures also revealed only 45 per cent of white British students progress onto university.
The statistics were published following claims that whilst other universities showed an increase in state school attendees, Oxford University saw a drop in accepting admissions from working class students.
Professor Les Edbon, administrator of Fair Access to Higher Education, issued a statement: “It is crucial that universities keep looking for new and innovative ways to work with the most under-represented groups in higher education to make sure that everyone with the talent to progress at university has an equal chance to do so, whatever their background.”
Oxford University has offered summer schools targeted at BME teenagers for the past 17 years and has the intention of working with more under-represented groups, not only boosting admissions to the university but also helping unprivileged students recognise their potential.
Dr Samina Khan, Oxford University’s director of undergraduate admissions and outreach, “hopes that we can help students realise their potential and encourage high-achieving students from white British socio-economically disadvantaged areas to aim for top universities such as Oxford”.
The summer schools will offer students a week to learn about law, ancient history, medical sciences and computer science, developing their knowledge learned at A-Level and encouraging them to explore what Oxford University and higher education have to offer.