At first glance, it might seem from the statistics that 18- to 20-year-old members of minority ethnic groups are doing relatively well in terms of higher education. They are in fact better represented in UK colleges and universities than young whites. However, this is far from the whole story. Certain black groups, such as African–Caribbean males and Bangladeshi females, are significantly underrepresented in higher education in general and certain programmes in particular. For example, there has been difficulty recruiting Black and ethnic minority students into teacher training programmes (DfEE, 1998). The experience of participating in higher education is also often different for black and white students. Black and minority ethnic students are more likely to be concentrated in the new universities. In the mid-1990s, only 0.5 percent of the students at the older established universities came from a Black or minority ethnic background, compared with 14.4 percent in the new universities (DfEE, 1998). This inequality helps to perpetuate a system of white privilege, one that is entrenched in other areas of public life in the UK. Black and minority ethnic students are also more likely to study part-time than white students, are more likely to drop out of courses, and more frequently opt for lower-level qualifications (i.e., a diploma rather than a degree).
Phillips, D., Law, I. and Turney, L. (2005), "Widening Participation in United Kingdom Universities: The Challenges of Achieving Race Equality", Allen, W.R., Bonous-Hammarth, M., Teranishi, R.T. and Dano, O.C. (Ed.) Higher Education in a Global Society: Achieving Diversity, Equity and Excellence (Advances in Education in Diverse Communities, Vol. 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 227-247. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1479-358X(05)05011-4
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