Wednesday, 7 March 2012

University Access

There has been much chat recently about so called ‘fairer’ university access brought about by The Twat from Twickenham (Vince) appointing some Lefty social engineer academic called Les Ebdon to head up ‘OFTOFF’, the university access regulator.

Now let me get my declarations of interest registered upfront. (Please note this, Polly, I am being honest about my life and choices not hypocritical by omitting them). I did not go to university. I had a place at LSE to read politics - who’d have guessed that, eh? - a real degree at a real university in the days when A levels were real qualifications, but I joined the army instead. It mattered much less whether you had a degree or not in those halcyon days. I could not make that call today.

Prof Ebdon’s plan is to academically compensate those who potentially might have achieved better A level results by taking into account their less than perfect educational and family surroundings and thus reduce the number of people at university who have achieved the results required possibly in part due to their better education and family circumstances.

This, children, is called discrimination. In this case, positive discrimination. Note that it’s still got the word ‘discrimination’ in it and that, children, is always a bad thing. However well intentioned.

The solution to a more balanced representative population in universities is not to discriminate against those who have done well in good circumstances by discriminating in favour of those who might have done with better with improved circumstances. That is utter madness. We should be addressing how we can make the 92% who attend state schools get a better education in the first place and thus reach their full potential.

Interestingly, on BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze a week or two ago there was a debate on this very issue. The most telling contribution came from the Cambridge admissions academic who said (in broad terms) that he was desperate to discriminate (he is a Lefty academic after all, it’s what they do) but they simply cannot find reliable measurement criteria to be able to carry out the discrimination process.

The world’s gone mad.

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