After a comment about the number of black students from David Cameron, Oxford University feels hostile and accuses prime minister of using inaccurate figures in his speech. Speaking at a PM Direct event in North Yorkshire, David Cameron said: "I saw figures the other day that showed that only one black person went to Oxford last year. I think that is disgraceful. We have got to do better than that." However, the University accused Cameron of quoting an "inaccurate and highly misleading" figure. According to the university's admissions figures for 2009, out of 27 black students of that year's intake only one "black Caribbean" candidate was accepted to Oxford for undergraduate study. In 2010, seven black Caribbean candidates got their places at Oxford University.
A spokesperson for Downing Street
later acknowledged that the prime minister was not specific enough in his essay
and expressed a broader argument over Oxford and race: "The wider point he was making was that it is not acceptable for universities like Oxford to have so few students coming from black and minority ethnic groups."
As the number of black candidates at Oxford is lower than white candidates, Oxford explains it by the fact that black candidates prefer to apply for such oversubscribed subjects as medicine.
A spokeswoman from Oxford University said: "The figure quoted by the prime minister is incorrect and highly misleading – it only refers to UK undergraduates of black Caribbean origin for a single year of entry. In that year a full 22% of Oxford's total student population came from ethnic minority backgrounds."