It does seem rather cruel to set people up to fail. Even, ambitiously cruel to set them up to fail while tying a debt millstone around their necks. But this is what Cambridge University is doing. Even as they would protest, loudly, that they aim to do no such thing. This being the usual leftish inability to distinguish between the effects of an action and the purity of the motives for it.
Our first datum:
University drop out rates are worse among disadvantaged students, official data shows
University drop out rates are worse among disadvantaged students compared to their wealthier peers, official data shows. Damian Hinds, the education secretary, has warned that universities must step up their efforts to tackle the “damaging” drop out rates, adding that the regulator will intervene if they fail to do so. In 2016/17, 8.8 per cent of the most disadvantaged students failed to complete their degrees, up from 8.6 per cent the previous year, according to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa). Meanwhile, the proportion of all students dropping out of university during the same two year period declined from 6.4 per cent to 6.3 per cent.
We’ve a lot of experience of this from the American system. With people like Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell pointing out that race favoured positive discrimination ends up doing those so favoured no great favours. Those who are unprepared for the rigours of strict academic courses, as shown by their SATs or High School transcripts, are unprepared for the rigours of strict academic courses. Whatever the melanin content of their skin, they’re still unprepared. So, the drop out rates are higher as those allowed in on lower scores in order to promote diversity get smacked in the face by that academic rigour.
Then we’ve Cambridge:
Cambridge opens up extra places for disadvantaged students who perform better than expected in their A-levels
Cambridge is now setting up more to fail.
Cambridge University is opening up extra places for disadvantaged students who perform better than expected in their A-levels, in a bid to improve diversity. This summer the university will give out up to 100 additional places which will be earmarked for pupils who have either spent time in local authority care, or those with a combination of characteristics including attending a state school and living in a deprived household or area. It is the first time that Cambridge will take part in the Ucas “adjustment” system, where students who do better than expected in their A-levels are able to “trade up” for a better university place.
You know, it might just be that this sort of social engineering is going to cause the same problems that American system produces. Only a suggestion mind, even if one drawn from our actual experience of this universe. But then, reality, you know, acknowledging it is so unfashionable, isn’t it?