Universities are setting targets to recruit more white male students
8th December 2018

White males are a now a MINORITY GROUP! Universities are setting targets to recruit more after numbers plummeted

  • Aston and Essex universities pledge to boost the number of white male students 
  • Women are a third more likely to apply to degree courses than men, data shows
  • Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show white British students are in a minority at about 10 per cent of institutions  

Universities are setting targets to recruit more white male students after numbers fell so low that they were classed as a minority group.

Aston and Essex universities have pledged to boost numbers in their latest ‘access plans’ submitted to the Office for Students (OfS), the higher education regulator.

Aston says it will focus its energies during 2019/20 on white males, black British students and women studying engineering and science-related subjects.

Research has found some university staff feel uncomfortable offering programmes aimed specifically at white boys in case it is viewed as racist or leads to other groups being overlooked [File photo]

Essex wants to increase the number of white men joining it and other local universities by two per cent.

Several universities, including Oxford, have previously launched campaigns to increase the intake of white, working-class men, but Aston and Essex are the first mainstream institutions to include white men in strategies to boost under-represented groups.

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency data, white British students are in a minority at about ten per cent of institutions. 

And on some courses, such as business, pharmacy and science-related degrees, more than 70 per cent of students are from ethnic minorities. 

In 2016/17, 27 per cent of the UK undergraduate intake were white males, down from 30 per cent in 2007/08. At Aston, almost two-thirds of the current intake are non-white.

Universities are setting targets to recruit more white male students after numbers fell so low that they were classed as a minority group. Aston and Essex universities have pledged to boost numbers in their latest ‘access plans’ submitted to the Office for Students (OfS), the higher education regulator [File photo]

Official figures also show that 123 out of 149 higher education institutions have more female than male students and the gender gap is growing.

Female students are a third more likely to apply to degree courses than their male peers.

While university entry should primarily be decided on merit, Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, said there was a good case for giving white men special attention. 

‘It is a form of racism to be uncomfortable in tackling white male under-representation,’ he said.


  • Fears missing British backpacker Grace Millane, 22, was…


    Roman Abramovich is ‘on a list of six Putin-linked Russian…

Share this article

Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), which has published a study on the educational under-achievement of young men, said: ‘When putting together our report, we were shocked to find so few higher education institutions had these sorts of targets. The problem is so evident and we’ve continued to go backwards.

‘Some people oppose this whole agenda. We were told we were wrong to look at gender and should care only about class.

‘Tackling access to university needs a focus on gender, disadvantage and ethnicity, and it is possible to care about all three of these things simultaneously.’

Several universities, including Oxford, have previously launched campaigns to increase the intake of white, working-class men, but Aston and Essex are the first mainstream institutions to include white men in strategies to boost under-represented groups [File photo]

The HEPI report called for a ‘Take Our Sons to University Day’ and also for more foundation year courses, which prepare students for degree-level study, to help to encourage young men to seek university places.

Others have suggested boosting the number of degree apprenticeships, which allow youngsters to earn as they learn.

Research has found some university staff feel uncomfortable offering programmes aimed specifically at white boys in case it is viewed as racist or leads to other groups being overlooked.

‘We found that people were quite uncomfortable with the idea of running a targeted activity with this group, in a way that we’ve not encountered, for example, targeting young black African men,’ said one study from King’s College London.

‘We had quite a lot of people saying, ‘This isn’t going to be a white-only event, is it?”

Source: Read Full Article