What is the job of a university? To produce people who can think laterally, not literally; who can think critically and for themselves; who can mentally assemble information in a logical way, and transmit the information to others in a clear, concise manner.
It is not the job of universities to reflect the racial make-up and ethnic origins of the country. The job of preparing racial minorities for an equal adult life lies with the schools and it is the responsibility of the government to facilitate integration and education of minorities by making schools and their teachers first class. Yes, universities should quite naturally look like the population they serve, but youngsters have to be educated and prepared first – at school. This requires adequate funding. Education (true education, not learning by rote and taking useless tests all the time – something conservatives seem to love) should be the most important investment a nation can make. The Scandinavian countries got the message, why can’t the British?
Which brings me to private schools. In my last term at my own private school, I took part in a debate on the abolition of private schools, and, at risk of being lynched, proposed the motion before 600 boys: “This House would abolish all private schools”. I lost! Surprise, surprise. What I now think is that the taxpayer should fund such a huge improvement in State schools that private schools wither on the vine. Don’t abolish them; make them irrelevant. Then there would be a level playing field and we can forget the endless complaining about the present system, the unfairness, the vested interests, and the sniping. Ah! That will be the day!