On 13 November 2016 the BBC aired a new documentary, ‘Will Britain Ever Have a Black Prime Minister?’ David Harewood explored the statistical chances of a black Prime Minister and investigated the barriers that exist. BSA member Dr Vikki Boliver took part and appeared in a section looking at ethnic bias in admissions to universities.
In the interview Dr Boliver spoke about the inherent bias that exists in the admissions processes of elite universities and noted that greater numbers of black students are being denied places than white students. Contributing to this is an unconscious bias, due to tutors’ tendencies to gravitate towards people who reflect themselves. The documentary is available online for a limited time.
Dr Boliver has previously published in the BSA’s journals, most recently in Sociology with her article ‘Exploring Ethnic Inequalities in Admission to Russell Group Universities’. The article examines why ethnic minority applicants fare worse than similarly qualified white candidates when applying to Russell Group universities. Through analysing national university applications and admissions data, the article concludes that some admissions selectors at some of the universities studied may be unfairly rejecting a proportion of ethnic minority candidates. The article is Open Access - BSA members can also view the article via the Members’ Area.