While Oxford draws criticism for the racial profile of its intake, Harvard’s latest admissions figures show that 11.8% of its new students for this autumn will be African-American and 12.1% Latino – thought to be record proportions of the two minority groups.
Among the 2009 intake, 10.8% of students at Harvard were African-American, compared with 8.2% at Princeton, and 7% at Yale. To put the data in some context, African-American students made up 14% of US college enrolments in 2008.
The MP and former higher education minister David Lammy suggests that part of the reason Harvard does better on race is that it writes to every high-achieving minority student. The Ivy League institution is proud of its outreach, sending admissions officers every year to schools in every US state.
Its ethnic minority recruitment is assisted by a team of undergraduates who handle campus visits and answer questions on academic life.
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