The prime minister has accused his alma mater of having a "terrible record" of enrolling students from state schools and upset a lot of people. He further accused them of having enrolled only one black student last year.
The university said that the figure was "highly misleading" relating as it did only to British students who described themselves as black Caribbean. Oxford had in fact admitted another 27 students who were black African and another 14 who described themselves as mixed race.
Across the UK, it emerged after some research, only 452 black students had achieved the Higher or A-level results that Oxford demand. In total Oxford had taken 42 of these, or a little under 10%. Remembering that there are many other top flight universities in the UK; Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, London, Durham, Cambridge... amongst many more, it seems not unreasonable to me that Oxford would take only around 10% of them.
Mr Cameron’s assertions were described as "ignorant", "absurd" and "mind boggling" by MPs and academics alike.
It seems that controversy follows Cameron wherever he goes, mainly because of his irritating habit of opening his mouth and letting his lack of knowledge show. And considering he got the very best education that money can buy, that seems rather sad to say the least.
Last week Cameron's claimed that Britain was responsible for many of the world's problems, specifically relating to the on-going conflict between India and Pakistan in Kashmir. He then unleashed a foul mouthed outburst at the journalist who had written a critical article about it.
On one of his early trips to pay homage to Mr Obama at the White House, he conceded that Britain was a junior partner, and stated plainly the US stood beside Britain in 1940...which of course they had not. It was on that visit that he was also critical of the Scottish Government’s position on the Lockerbie bomber in bizarre attempt to curry favour. None of these things should be said or done when a prime minister is out of the country... and as a history graduate from Oxford himself, he might have known the date on which the Americans joined the Second World War.
The Conservative chairman of the Commons Education Select Committee, Graham Stewart, said the government was wrong. If minorities don't get into the best universities it is because they don't receive a sufficiently good education in the first place. He suggested that the way to deal with the low intake of minority ethnics by top universities was to provide that education, rather than demand that the universities reduce their standards to meet some lind of politically correct target. A pretty damming indictment from his own party.
Anthony Smith ex-president of Magdalen College said: "It does seem to me that these politicians don't know anything about the country they are governing. Do they not know what the condition of schools is like in areas where many black children are brought up? Do they not read the newspapers and see what goes on there, how difficult it is for a child from one of these communities to get into any university?”
A waffling spokesman for the prime minister said Mr Cameron was trying to make a wider point about the unacceptability of top universities having so few students from minority ethnic groups. If he was, he was doing it rather ineptly.
In fact, as the most recent figures showed that 2% of the population was black, and that 1.5% of the Oxford student body was black in the last academic year, the figures are not as bad as they at first appear.
But why let the truth get in the way of a good rant for no particular reason...eh Dave?