(Article by Niamh Harris republished from NewsPunch.com)
The initial plan was to exclude white students from a programme that would offer free accommodation on campus for six weeks, as well as an intern’s wage for 35 hours per week while the students trained in research skills.
The scheme would lead up to the students writing a 4,000-word essay giving them “the confidence and skills to apply for postgraduate study and other research careers”.
The plan however sparked concern about the University's diversity priorities.
Breitbart reports: According to a report from The Telegraph, lecturers at the university were told: “The programme will be advertised for second or third-year UG [undergraduate] students from Black, British Black, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or British-Pakistani, British Bangladeshi students studying at traditional research-intensive universities, who are planning to continue their studies in 2024.”
After being contacted by the newspaper as to why working-class white students were not included for consideration, despite significant under-representation at the elite university, the school ultimately reversed course, saying that it will now be “open to a wider group defined by socio-economic factors instead, including white working-class.”
Nevertheless, the attempt at excluding the white working class has been seen as revealing the left-wing biases of the university.
Professor David Abulafia of Gonville and Caius College said: “It’s good that the programme has been recalibrated so that the criterion is disadvantage rather than race. The racial criterion seemed to assume non-white students are automatically disadvantaged. Isn’t that a little bit racist?”
A Cambridge lecturer in divinity, Dr. James Orr, added that, while the idea was excellent, “this kind of opportunity should surely be available to everyone on the basis of merit and need, not ethnic background. Undergraduates from ethnic minorities do not need a helping hand from the university to progress to graduate research. If it is the case that the decision has been reversed, the administration should be commended for doing the right thing.”
Read more at: NewsPunch.com