A short thread. Many institutions adopt an imbalanced or ‘asymmetric’ approach to diversity & inclusion. They focus overwhelmingly, & increasingly, on race/ethnicity, which is often seen as the only relevant variable.
This is entirely understandable given historic injustices but it also comes with costs; we are overlooking other social problems in society. We need to broaden rather than narrow our view.
One of those is white working-class children from disadvantaged backgrounds who are already falling behind their peers at age 5 … less likely to get good GCSEs … and less likely than every other group to make it to university (evidence -> bit.ly/3o4INWz).
This is especially problematic in a society that now really only defines ‘success’ as having a university degree and, whether under Labour or Conservative, has (unlike Germany, Austria, Switzerland, etc.) historically underinvested in vocational and technical routes
Even if these kids do make it to university then around 70% of them go, as I did, to a ‘low-tariff’ university. This is incredibly valuable. But, in a society, where half of kids are going to university it is right to ask how much of an advantage it is (amzn.to/3o3UoVO)
This problem is especially problematic in top-tier or ‘selective’ institutions; while 13% of white Brit boys on free school meals go to higher education (behind only gypsy/Roma), just 2% of white low-income boys go to top universities (data for girls is nearly just as depressing)
One study finds that more than half of England’s universities had fewer than 5% of poor white students in their intakes & said there has been a “perfect storm of inaction”. bbc.in/3o2AsTi
Furthermore, only around one in five universities have targets for disadvantaged white students. NEON, a research body, suggests this has fallen in recent years.

Only one in five. If this were true for any other group it would be a national scandal.
So, why is this? Why are our universities not working harder to do more given that we have also never heard more about diversity and inclusion? These are sensitive questions but they are also incredibly important, not least be we are talking about one of the largest groups
It is, obviously, complex. But I do think -my opinion, suggestion, argument- is that it probably has quite a bit to do with the very insular networks within our universities.

And especially our more selective ones
I suspect this is less of a priority bc many academics come from secure backgrounds, engage in 'assortative mating' (marry ppl like them), 'academic inbreeding' (promote ppl like them) & have at least 1 parent in high ed/public sector

Not all do, of course, but many do.
These things most likely contribute to the already strong left-wing slant of higher education (bit.ly/37jbIQr) and general lack of action on this issue. I've not seen many hashtags for these kids. Nor have I seen much lobbying.
It has been said that universities are ‘both pathways & gateways’; they can open doors but also work to make sure that only the right sort of people are pushed forward (good pts on this -> bit.ly/3k8ehZi). Right now, it is my view that we need to open up some more doors.
This is not an attack on academics. It is just to suggest that many networks in higher education -especially top-tier- are incredibly insular if not exclusionary. Social norms work against people talking about this. But should be making a lot more noise about this issue. /end

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More from @GoodwinMJ

23 Jul
Woke-ism is a minority support

Support for footballers "taking the knee"? 37%
Support for removal of statues linked to slavery? 27%
BLM protests shd have gone ahead during crisis? 21%
Support protestors damaging/removing statues? 13%

YouGov July 16
3 points in reply to discussion about results. 1/ my ref to 'woke' politics is reference to what we might otherwise call identity liberalism/'the great awokening' debate in US e.g. see Atlantic on 'woke capitalism', Pres Obama on 'woke stuff', etc. Not derogatory.
2/ What I'm pointing to here is level of 'positive, instrumental change' for what are radical actions (e.g. pulling down statues). I've stripped out don't knows/oppose/don't care etc. Why? Because I want to get sense of core 'active' support for actions that impact on majority
Read 5 tweets
16 Jul
Racism has been falling in Britain not rising. Every major 'gold standard' survey shows that levels of racial prejudice have been in decline since the 1980s. On the whole, this is a tolerant, welcoming and remarkably peaceful country #HasBritainChanged
Support for relationships between different ethnic/racial groups has rocketed since the 1980s #HasBritainChanged
Typically, over 90% of Brits have 'no issue' with relationships/marriages between members of different groups. In 1980s more than half did #HasBritainChanged
Read 5 tweets
16 Jun
Munira Mirza is interested in data and evidence. That is why critical race theorists are hostile -- they are being asked to provide evidence for their ideological claims.
In UK the relationship between race & disadvantage is FAR more complex than some suggest. For e.g., minorities shd not be treated as uniform group, lots of positive trends at work, disadvantage in diff spheres cuts across diff groups in diff ways, need nuance & data-led policy
My view is that if there is to be a new commission or study of racial inequality in UK then it shd include ppl who prioritise evidence. There is a middle way through but trying to shout down somebody simply because they question existing narratives is not the way forward imo.
Read 4 tweets
14 Jun
How Britain's "Statue Wars" became a proxy for our deeper values divide - a short thread
As much work has now shown, Britain's 2016 vote for Brexit was only one symptom of a much deeper values divide that has been rumbling through Britain (and other democracies) for a few decades

In very broad terms, the divide is between "liberals" and "social conservatives"
One question that is now hanging over British politics is whether Brexit and its final resolution would bring that divide to a close or instead cement it while an array of other issues -immigration, gender, diversity agenda, etc.- would breathe new life into it
Read 16 tweets
13 Jun
"It's a black Wednesday moment"
"Boris just lost the next election"
"This is a total game changer".

Cummings was 2.5 weeks ago

Today? 8 point Conservative lead

Conservative 45% (=)
Labour 37% (+2)
Lib Dem 6% (=)

YouGov June 11-12
Scandals rarely have the effect we think they will. That's one of the main lessons of the past decade.
I'd add that quite a few folks are now reading more than they should into leadership scores. Why? Who knows. Maybe because is only dimension where Lab ahead. But do remember that relationship between leadership ratings & election outcomes is not as strong as many are implying
Read 4 tweets
12 Jun
The Conservative Party is winning elections but losing the culture war.
I say "culture war" because -increasingly- Britain is importing US-style "culture war" politics.

Our dispute over Brexit was one symptom; statues and monuments another

We are following our American cousins into a polarisation that is rooted far more in our values & identities
Underpinning all of this are competing interpretations of who we are as a people and nation

One one side views our history as a source of shame and through a very narrow lens of oppression and racism

These accounts often begin and end with Empire
Read 6 tweets

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