Examination of Witnesses (Questions 400
WEDNESDAY 22 MAY 2002
400. Would you be amenable to more questions
from our staff and the Committee while we are writing up this
(Professor Callender) I would be absolutely delighted.
The other point I would like to make is that I am slightly disappointed
I was not asked about the London study on students in London.
401. Where is London!
(Professor Callender) I was hoping you were going
to ask me about that.
402. A one-minute answer.
(Professor Callender) There is a direct correlation
between the distance a student travels to university and their
social class. That is to say, the likelihood of a middle-class
person in your constituency going to Brighton University is incredibly
much higher than the likelihood of a working-class student in
your constituency going to Brighton. When we look at London, that
tendency is increasing. Increasing proportions of lower-income
students are going to their local university in order to save
money and, therefore, by definition, their choices are restricted.
When we move those arguments to London, something rather special
is happening because of the composition of London and that is
that a third of students at least in London come from ethnic minorities,
that more students attending universities in London than outside
London might live at home with mum and dad. So if we want to understand
what is happening in London, we have to look at their housing
arrangements, their ethnicity and what type of university they
go to, and it is the interface of those three factors that then
leads to a situation whereby in London in particular we are in
danger of having a system whereby, on the one hand, we have LSE
which is populated by white middle-class students drawn from throughout
the country and, on the other hand, we have a university on the
South Bank, with a black ethnic minority student population drawn
from the locality and other low-income students and, thus, there
is a danger that what is happening is that the institutions are
becoming increasingly segregated on the basis of gender, ethnicity
403. That is very interesting and thank you
for that, although we would like to see the specifics on that
because certainly there will be deep cultural roots in terms of
certainly many of my ethnic minority communities who prefer their
children not to go too far from home and that is part of the culture.
(Professor Callender) Absolutely right.
404. I have to tell you that at the London School
of Economics, of which I am a Governor, we do have many ethnic
minority students, but they happen to be quite wealthy.
(Professor Callender) Or coming from overseas.
Chairman: Thank you very much.