British Prime Minister David Cameron believes that Oxford should do a better job recruiting ethnic minorities, asserting that only one black person has enrolled in the university since 2009.

According to an article in The Telegraph:

Mr. Cameron said universities had to adhere to strict rules if they wanted to charge the maximum fee and he said the country’s top institutions needed to attract students from poorer backgrounds.

Speaking at tea and coffee merchants Taylors of Harrogate, he said: ”I saw figures the other day that showed that only one black person went to Oxford last year. I think that is disgraceful, we have got to do better than that. Figures showing that Oxford University accepted admitted only one black Caribbean student out of more than 3,000 undergraduates emerged last October.

Cameron, who studied (above) at Brasenose College, Oxford, called the university “a disgrace.”

Oxford disputed the claims, saying the statistics the prime minister quoted were highly misleading. In fact, in 2009, Oxford admitted 41 black British undergraduates. Some 22 percent of Oxford’s student population was ethnic minorities.

Well good point, but the discussion came up as a result of the decision of Cameron’s government to dramatically increase university tuition.

Despite interest in promoting racial diversity, Britain’s elite universities aren’t doing so well with economic diversity. So Oxford might be “a disgrace” for enrolling few black students, but would that really be Oxford’s fault?

Um, anyone else think that a good way to enroll more ethnic and economic minorities be to not charge them fees to attend university, as was the situation for all people in the United Kingdom before 1998? [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer