The Importance of a Black Presence at a Nation’s Most Prestigious Universities

JBHE has always maintained that it is important for African Americans to gain admission to the nation’s leading colleges and universities because it is these institutions that in turn produce leaders for society’s institutions. Until there is a large presence of black students at these institutions of higher learning, blacks will continue to have a disproportionately small number of key positions throughout our society.

The logic of this argument is apparent from recent statistics originating in the United Kingdom. As previously reported by JBHE, many of the leading colleges at Oxford and Cambridge universities in Britain made no offers of admission to black students this past year. Merton College at Oxford University has not admitted a black student in the past five years.

Now the British government reports that the country’s civil service accepted only five blacks among the 450 who applied to its “fast stream” recruitment program. In contrast, 5 percent of all white applicants were accepted into the program.