Lack of “ethnic mixing” in the UK’s universities

There are warnings of a lack of “ethnic mixing” in the UK’s universities, in a study from the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath.

Ethnic minority students are more likely to be concentrated in new universities in London and big cities. But white students are more likely to attend predominantly white institutions, says the study.

The report warns of “segregation” as a result of students’ choices of university. There are also ethnic divisions within subjects, with only 25 black Caribbean students entering medicine or dentistry courses in 2014-15.

“If we are to create a more tolerant UK society, where people are aware and respectful of cultural and ethnic difference, it is vital that greater mixing happens,” said leader of the research project, Dr Michael Donnelly.

Feeling uncomfortable
The study, Diverse Places of Learning?, shows that black and Asian students are not spread evenly within the university system, but tend to be concentrated in big, multicultural cities.

Almost two-thirds of students in the UK from Bangladeshi families go to a relatively small number of “super-diverse” London universities.

There are some universities where almost three-quarters of UK students are from ethnic minorities – and there are others where more than 95% of students are white.

There are about 20 universities where a majority of undergraduate students are from ethnic minorities – with these figures not including overseas students. Read more




Young ‘shafted’ over Brexit – Vince Cable

Older people who voted for Brexit have “comprehensively shafted the young”, Sir Vince Cable has said.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, the Lib Dem leader accused the over-65s of being “self-declared martyrs” who claim leaving the EU is worth the cost.

“The martyrdom of the old comes cheap,” he said, as fewer have jobs to lose and living standards are protected by the triple lock on pensions. “For the Brexit martyrs, paradise beckons,” he added.

Quoting statistics that 64% of over-65s voted for Brexit – compared with 71% of under-25s who voted Remain – Sir Vince said he was “struck by the heavily Remain sentiment in colleges and schools, and the heavily Brexit mood of church-hall meetings packed with retired people” during the referendum campaign.

He claimed that austerity measures had largely affected the working population, with pensioners suffering “relatively little” after the financial crisis.

Young people, he said, have the added problems of “prohibitive housing costs, growing job insecurity and limited career progression”. “The old have comprehensively shafted the young,” added Sir Vince. “And the old have had the last word about Brexit, imposing a world view coloured by nostalgia for an imperial past on a younger generation much more comfortable with modern Europe.”

The newly-elected party leader warned that describing such “masochism” as martyrdom was “dangerous”, adding: “We haven’t yet heard about ‘Brexit jihadis’ but there is an undercurrent of violence in the language which is troubling.”

Brexit thought crimes
Sir Vince also criticised cabinet ministers, who he claimed were “waging civil war, rather than working out what they want from Brexit.”
He says former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith called for trade envoys to be sacked as a result of them “talking down our country”.

“At this rate, we will have Brexit thought crimes before long,” said Sir Vince. He said that with the government confirming freedom of movement will end in 2019, the UK will leave the single market and there will be no transition. Source: bbc.co.uk




Teenagers are being targeted by criminal gangs

Police say that children as young as 13 are becoming money mules. They are enticed by the offer of receiving cash and often do not realise that what they are doing is an offence

Thousands of young children and teenagers are being paid by criminals to hide or launder stolen money in their bank accounts, The Times has learnt.

Parents are being asked to monitor their children’s transactions after the number of youths used as “money mules” by fraudsters and gangsters nearly doubled in a year.

The Metropolitan Police, Britain’s biggest force, is sending warnings to parents via schools across London over concerns that pupils are being targeted outside the school gates and on social media. Numerous cases have also been reported outside the capital.

Criminals offer the children cash, sometimes as little as £50, to transfer much larger sums of “dirty money” through their bank accounts. Read more




Social media is making youngsters more anxious

Research from anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label suggests social media is making youngsters more anxious. Forty per cent said they felt bad if nobody liked their selfies and 35% said their confidence was directly linked to the number of followers they had.

Instagram was highlighted as having become the vehicle most used for mean comments.
Seven per cent of young social network users said they had been bullied on the Facebook-owned photo app.
That compared to a figure of 6% for Facebook itself, 5% for Snapchat and 2% for Twitter and YouTube.

One expert said children were growing up in “a culture of antagonism”. Instagram said it encouraged users to report bullying content.

“We know that comments posted by other people can have a big impact and that’s why we have recently invested heavily in new technology to help make Instagram a safe and supportive place,” said policy chief Michelle Napchan.

“Using machine learning technology, offensive comments on Instagram are now automatically blocked from appearing on people’s accounts. We also give people the choice to turn off comments altogether, or make their own lists of banned words or emojis.”

Big challenge

The survey, of more than 10,000 young people aged 12 to 20, suggested that cyber-bullying is widespread, with nearly 70% of youngsters admitting to being abusive towards another person online and 17% claiming to have been bullied online.

One in three said they lived in fear of cyber-bullying, with appearance cited as the most likely topic for abuse.

Nearly half (47%) said they wouldn’t discuss bad things in their lives on social media and many offered only an edited version of their lives.

“There is a trend towards people augmenting their personalities online and not showing the reality,” said Ditch the Label’s chief executive Liam Hackett. Read more




Young aged 25-34 hit by income slowdown

Young families were particularly hard hit by an “abrupt” slowdown in living standards in the year before the general election, a think tank says.

The Resolution Foundation found that average income growth halved to 0.7% during that period compared with the previous year. Those aged 25-34 were worst hit, it said, with their average incomes no higher than they were in 2002-03.

The Treasury said it was taking “concrete steps” to help families.

The Resolution Foundation analyses living standards, and says its goal is to improve outcomes for people on low and modest incomes. It said young families were the only group whose incomes have failed to return to pre-financial crisis levels.

Pensioner incomes grew by 30% over that 15-year period, the think tank said.

‘Bleak economic backdrop’
“The typical 25 to 34-year-old appears no better off today than in 2002-03,” the report said.

“In comparison, typical incomes for all other age groups are now above, or very near, their pre-recession peaks.”

The fall in average income growth followed a “mini-boom” between 2013 and 2015, the foundation said, when living standards improved. Families in rented accommodation have experienced little or no income growth, while home-owners had a 1.7% growth, the report found.

A Treasury spokesperson said the government was taking action to increase people’s incomes and help families “keep more of what they earn”.

The Treasury said: “We have cut taxes so a basic rate taxpayer pays £1,000 less income tax compared to 2010 and introduced the National Living Wage which means £1,400 a year extra for a worker.” Read more