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Colleges "that are divided by race"

A racial divide has emerged between traditional universities and former polytechnics, writes Vijay Dutt.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2006 19:12 IST

A racial divide has emerged between traditional universities and former polytechnics, during a research. It found that many ethnic minority undergraduates are concentrated in post-1992 institutions (the polytechnics that gained university status), according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

But in Russell Group, which represents 19 elite institutions including Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol universities, the ethnic minority undergraduates are under-represented.

Figures from 2004 show that nine of the Russell Group have fewer than 30 students who are of Black Caribbean origin. But of 11 institutions where white students are in the minority, seven are post-1992 universities.

But otherwise Chinese and Indian students are in sizeable numbers in universities like the Imperial College, London School of Economics and King's College. In fact there are now students' clubs, which celebrate festivals like Diwali.

But, Trevor Phillips, Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, has reacted saying the racial segregation in universities poses a "deadly threat" to society. He added that the best institutions might need to be given extra money to run the "minority-friendly courses".

Said Phillips, "If we do not act now our universities could add a lethal, irreversible twist to racial separation in Britain." A case was cited of one Rudi Singh who was rejected without even an interview. Otherwise Indian students number only second Chinese in British universities.

First Published: Jan 05, 2006 19:12 IST