People applying to study medicine at Cambridge University with three A*s at A-level are more than 20% more likely to be given an offer if they are white than if they are from an ethnic minority, according to new data released by the institution.
Cambridge University released the detailed admissions data, covering 2010 to 2012, for medicine only in response to a freedom of information request. The university refused a similar request a few weeks before, which covered more subject areas, on the grounds of cost.
The data, which covers applications from within the UK by people who declare their ethnicity, shows that 329 out of 586 white applicants for medicine who went on to achieve three A*s were given an offer of a place, versus 190 of 412 applicants from ethnic minorities – representing success rates of 56% and 46% respectively. The difference between the two groups is statistically significant.
Both Oxford and Cambridge have been challenged by MPs and campaigners to do more to get students from ethnic minorities into their institutions, particularly as the headline admissions figures for the two institutions show a substantial gap in success rates between students of different ethnicities.
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