Reader Letter: Are boys being discriminated against?

Norwich's UEA campus. PHOTO: Archant

Norwich's UEA campus. PHOTO: Archant - Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk.

One reader is worried there aren't enough boys at university. What do you think?

Both the education minister and chairman of the office for students are reported as inveighing against a lack of 'diversity' at Oxbridge universities, implying that positive discrimination in favour of 'diverse' candidates is necessary to correct the wrong.

Looking around at the UEA I note a far larger diversity problem - there just are not enough boys.

Nationally only 43% of university students are boys. On the Oxbridge evidence above one can only conclude that boys are being discriminated against by universities not 'taking into account a broad range of factors', to quote the education minister, rather than focusing purely on academic results.

If university entrance has to proportionately reflect ethnicity, rather than academic ability, surely exactly the same rules should apply to gender too.

Perhaps the UEA vice-chancellor can advise what positive steps, such as lowering grades required by boys, are being taken to correct the present heavy bias in favour of girls.

I cannot accept any argument about more girls wanting to attend and having better grades on average, as those factors may well apply to gender unrelated diverse candidates too, but those factors seemingly cannot be allowed to matter when lack of 'diversity', in its current politically correct sense, is being discussed.

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