Cambridge University has attributed a marked increase in black students to the “Stormzy Effect” after a record number took undergraduate positions this year.
Ninety-one black students were admitted to the university at the start of this term, up about 50 per cent from the 61 who started courses in autumn 2018, raising the record number.
This follows Grime artist Stormzy’s announcement that he will fund the tuition fees and living costs of two students each year.
Reflective of wider UK society
The university added that the new figures were reflective of wider UK society.
UCAS figures reveal that, as of 12 September, 33,730 black UK students had been accepted onto degree courses at British universities and colleges, meaning black students made up 7.9 per cent of acceptances across the country in total.
Cambridge’s figures demonstrated that 26.8 per cent of its undergraduate students this year were from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
Society still has a long way to go
However, whilst this is uplifting news, our society still has a long way to go, Equality Group has said.
While 59 per cent of the BAME workforce aspire to be on the board, only 2 per cent make it, according to new statistics.
Over half (55 per cent) – almost 3 million – of BAME citizens also declared that they were advised to be more realistic in regards of their career goals by those who influenced their career, compared to only 19 per cent of non-BAME citizens.
Democratised career ladder
Hephzi Pemberton, Founder of Equality Group, said: “Our research indicates that young BAME students have significant levels of professional aspiration, supported by an educational infrastructure, that should, in theory, enable them to excel within their chosen professional careers.
“This is however far from the reality when assessing the UK’s BAME representation at senior management, board and director level.
“It is a shocking reality that in 2019, the workplace does not nurture or support BAME talent in a manner that reflects the undeniable aspirations prominent in this community.
“As a society of business leaders, decision-makers, professionals and commentators, we have an obligation to ensure that intention is met with action to ensure the UK’s workforce – in its entirety – has access to a democratised career ladder that promotes inclusion for all at every level.”