UNDER PRESSURE: Some black students
PUSHY PARENTS have been singled out as one of the reasons why black and ethnic minorities (BMEs) may be under-represented at top universities.
In an interview, head of the Office of Fair Access Prof Les Ebdon, outlined that some ethnic minority students are pressured into choosing to study for careers they dislike – and then later opt to drop out of the courses.
“One of the underlying reasons for the under-representation of ethnic minorities in some highly-selective universities is because they apply for medicine and law – both highly competitive courses – and a significant amount of that is parental pressure,” Ebdon told the Sunday Times.
“Colleagues tell me these students may not always be personally committed to medicine or law as a career but that is the career their parents want for them.”
He added: ”Deans of medical schools tell me some students face this terrible dilemma of a strong push from their parents but actually they then decide that medicine is not for them.”
Top universities have long been criticised for not doing enough to attract - and give greater access opportunities to - ethnic minority students.