Steven Spier, Guardian, February 20, 2019
The government has recently announced that it plans to improve how black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students perform at university,
>Dishonesty: North East Asian students totally overperform, the so called Asian model minority. They probably mean NAM, Non Asian Minority. Mixing up Chinese and Black graduation rates might actually take away the effect this article purports to attack: lower grades of BAME, non-whites.
putting the spotlight back on an issue that has blighted the higher education sector for far too long.
The stark fact is that, according to the latest figures, just 66% of BAME students achieved a first or 2:1 degree in 2016-17, compared to 79.6% of white students.
>That is an amazingly low difference, considering the much lower average IQ of BAME students and the fact that they are admitted by affirmative action and thus vastly lower qualified than White students. Probably due to grade inflation and affirmative graduation.
This is an issue affecting all universities, and requires a deep understanding of the factors involved and a genuine commitment to addressing the gap. There is no quick fix.
>A deep understanding of the factors is HONEST SCIENTIFIC understanding race differences in IQ, motivation, deferred gratification. There is no fix at all. 60 years of affirmative action failed to find a fix. BE HONEST about it. Each one should get the education they qualify for, without racial quotas favoring
If we truly want universities to have a meaningful impact on society, a handful doing the heavy lifting around access and attainment is simply not enough. We need universities to make this a strategic commitment. This means ensuring inclusivity is used as a measure of the quality of our courses.
>HONESTLY: If we need universities to have impact upon society, they should graduate highly qualified students, without grade inflation, without affirmative graduation.
And if we’re really going to close the BAME attainment gap, then we need incentives from the government.
>DISHONESTY: discarding social science of psychometrics. The achievement gap cannot be closed, as predicted by scientifically developed entrance tests and IQ tests. And as proven by 60 years of failed affirmative action
Universities could be recognised and rewarded for their progress through metrics-based exercises such as the Teaching Excellence Framework (Tef), which evaluates universities on the basis of their teaching quality and student outcomes. As it stands, a university could be awarded Tef gold while having no black students attaining a first class degree. That clearly does not reflect teaching excellence for everyone.
>INSINCERITY: Universities should graduate students by QUALIFICATION, not graduate students by skin color
While some universities have made good progress in widening access, it is not enough just to get students through the door. We need to get them through their course and enable them to leave with a good degree. By those measures, universities have a lot more work to do.
>Don’t let in students that don’t qualify by objective scientifically developed admission date. NO RACIAL QUOTAS.
The Office for Students has vowed to use sticks to drive progress in these areas. In a higher education market driven by academic reputation, the measures by which we assess good performance should also focus on how well we are contributing to a more equal and diverse society.
>DISHONEST LOGIC: we either get academic reputation, or we give underqualified students equal degrees to attain the impossibility of equal outcomes for unequal people.
To achieve this aim, it’s important that universities share best practice. Inspiring examples include Hertfordshire’s inclusive curriculum toolkit, and Birmingham City’s BAME ambassador programme, which is designed to promote a greater sense of belonging among learners
INSINCERE because those who don’t qualify by objective tests don’t belong there
and create a dialogue between students and staff.
to be HONEST, to admit unqualified students don’t belong there
At Kingston, we have adopted a whole-university drive to address the BAME attainment gap.
It has been addressed since Arthur Jensen’s research. It is caused by IQ differences, learning attitude, plus deficient parenting etc. Universities cannot fix that gap
This starts from the senior leadership team and is a key performance indicator across the institution, including for our development of an inclusive curriculum. If one of our courses doesn’t hit our target for BAME attainment, we immediately step in to rectify it.
It cannot be rectified. Underqualified students cannot hit HONEST tough strict academic targets
Diverse learning communities make for rich environments that help challenge what we know and value — this is the essence of good teaching.
>Good teaching is graduating qualified students, giving a value for money. Not to challenge what we HONESTLY know to be true
The new perspectives that students exposed to diversity bring to a question or task is exactly what employers say they want from graduates.
>BIG LIE: No, employers don’t want new perspectives, they want qualified good work force
A more diverse workforce is sought after by industry,
>DISHONEST: Industry does not want a diverse work force, government forces industry against their will to employ the under-qualified
and universities have a duty to deliver that.
>DISHONESTY: University have a duty to tell the SCIENTIFIC TRUTH that diversity of underqualified workers is not a strength
Our campuses should be thriving places where students share their experiences and learn from one another.
>DISHONESTY: students should learn from science, from books, and from teachers (with qualification, not affirmative action hires)
Universities must truly embrace diversity by changing the way they do things to ensure equal opportunities for all students, irrespective of background.
> to be HONEST, they do discriminate against qualified people with wrong skin color to admit, promote, and graduate the UNQUALIFIED
This can only be done by properly holding universities to account, and making diversity and inclusivity measures of a quality education.
> SINCERELY, quality education should produce qualified graduates, not diverse unqualified graduates
[Editor’s Note: Steven Spier is the vice-chancellor of Kingston University.]