Access is based upon social origins Credit Dmitry Mottl Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

One of the more interesting perversions of thought in the Soviet system was that it is entirely economic circumstances which maketh the man. Therefore criminals were not debauched, idiots, psycopaths or any such, merely victims of bourgeois society. When true socialism had given way to proper communism all such forms of crime would disappear. It is also true that the real criminals – the vory – were considered to be social allies of the socialists and communists. For weren’t they both against private property?

Yes, obviously, nutters.

However, large parts of the society worked on this very basis. Social origins to a large part determined what you were going to be allowed to do. A very fine bone structure, a distinct lack of callouses showing manual labour – in the early days they got you shot as an aristocrat. Later on Stalin insisted that the sins of the fathers be visited upon the children and the entire system always operated on the basis that anyone with proletarian forbears was to be favoured over those with bourgeois.

But then if you’re insistent that society operates only on the basis of class, that individuals don’t really exist in any meaningful manner, then this is the sort of idiocy you will get up to.

Yes, jut this sort of idiocy:

The university access watchdog says students’ backgrounds should be taken into account when awarding places, to improve “equality of opportunity”.

Or to make damn sure that there isn’t equality among individuals. Judge everyone by their social origins:

The new higher education watchdog, the Office for Students (OfS), is urging universities to pay more attention to socio-economic and school background, rather than just A-level grades, when deciding to award a place to a student.

If we don’t pay attention to social background then how can we reward the socially allied classes?

Universities are under increasing pressure from the Government to increase the number of students from deprived backgrounds.

Not so much government as the people who run the education system, rather a different grouping. And one that has more than its fair share of Marxist inspired lunacy about class and social origin of course.

Universities have been told to improve efforts to admit more students from poor backgrounds by lowering A-level offers for them.

The Office for Students said that institutions must be more “ambitious” in their use of so-called contextual admissions.

Contextual admissions. Well, yes. That is favouring the children of the working class, deliberately acting against those from the bourgeoisie, isn’t it? Except, of course, if the child is from that elite of the children of the educational bureaucracy, that nomenklatura.

You know, just as how half the Guardian were born to parents who worked at The Guardian. An amazing happenstance for an organisation hiring purely upon merit, isn’t it?

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  1. Except those with poor A levels will struggle at university and interfere with the education of the rest. They are unlikely to recoup the lost earnings, never mind pay off their loans, and will a few years after graduation work out that they wasted their time and money- and become anything but supportive of the university system. Also those with decent A levels will find university less worthwhile.
    Doubtless this is being sold as a means of helping people with poor A levels. A better way of doing this would be to upgrade primary and secondary education so that more people actually are prepared for university.
    I suspect the actual reason is to get more people paying the universities.

  2. It ought to be common sense. If you have two candidates with identical A level results, but one has wealthy parents and went to a top public school while the other lives on a sink estate and went to a shithole comp, you take the second because they’ve already proved they are prepared to work bloody hard to get an education no matter what life throws at them. That’s how we used to do it back when I was an academic. Mind you that was about 4 decades ago, when universities taught academic subjects.

  3. “Universities are under increasing pressure from the Government to increase the number of students from deprived backgrounds.”

    The sensible answer from universities is “you’re the ones in charge of the bloody schools, *YOU* increase the number of deprived students with good A level results”.

  4. It is a key reason why socialism works so poorly that class membership is supposed to be more important than the essential differences between individuals. How the system feels about you causes misbehavior, not vice versa.

    As for an institution that deliberately looks at group membership rather than individual candidates: No one would voluntarily pay his own money to support such a hidebound institution. The solution is a free market, followed to all of its implications.

    Drs. Williams and Sowell over here are brilliant at pointing out that the fault with remedial racism is not that it admits scads of African Americans to the Ivy League, where most wash out, but in so doing it dissuades them from enrolling at local or Community Colleges, where they might have completed a course of study, at which point those with aptitude could continue moving upward.