Cabinet Ministers David Limington MP and Chris Skidmore MP have called on universities to address their ethnic disparities or face negative consequences within league table standings.
Speaking on the failings of universities to tackle a lack of diversity in the student body, Universities Minister Skidmore said ‘It cannot be right that ethnic minority students are disproportionately dropping out of university and I want to do more to focus on student experience to help ethnic minority students succeed at university’.
In an effort to address the issue of a lack diversity, the government is proposing new policies, namely that of pressuring university league tables to include considerations on ‘access and attainment disparities’ and as a result, some universities’ positions in said tables would be threatened.
This year’s Guardian University Guide illustrates a mere ten points between being ranked a top 10 university and being ranked below 30, indicating a potential threat to many elite establishments failing to provide adequate support.
Moreover, a government press release stated that ‘universities will now be required to publish data regarding admissions and attainment broken down by ethnicity, gender and socio-economic background’. The measure was one amongst many proposed by the government seeking to address concerns related to diversity.
Others proposals included: gathering evidence of improvements and the successes of ethnic minority students, encouraging universities to increase diversity in their workforce, tackling the gap with regards to funding for research and innovation and making the information on diversity in universities easy to access for students of said institutions.