Being Black at the University of Cambridge

Source: University of Cambridge / BBC.

By Aliyah Butt

Prestigious Universities Oxford and Cambridge have come under pressure for their lack of ethnic diversity, over the years.

BBC reporter Ashley John-Baptiste who was a Cambridge student himself “felt like an imposter and totally out of my depth” around the university, he told the BBC. Due to the constant stereotypical views in relevance to Black individuals, these students are often made to feel completely out of place. Such issues may have a severe impact on an individual’s education and their overall outlook on Universities.

Cambridge sources state: The intake of the black population for these universities has been often 3% or under. 136 UK Black students were admitted in 2020 which has beat the record of 46 students in 2019. The rise in ethnic minority students had to be done to provide the equal right to education in any university applicable to them.

To help Black students get their places into these top universities, famous rapper “Stormzy” came out with a campaign in 2018 which was the “Stormzy effect”. This scholarship funds a selected number of Black freshers allowing them to be educated regardless of their backgrounds.

Fabianna is a Cambridge student studying psychology and behavioural sciences. Just within a few weeks, Fabianna had encountered racial discrimination from another student, quoting: “I am too drunk to say the N-word”.

Sharon, history and Spanish student at Cambridge, is from Tottenham and has a family background of Eritrean, said: “I think you do get a sense that you are different. It does not feel bad, but it is just something that you do kind of just thinking about, just be like you know if you enter certain classes you might be the only person of colour there.”

Fabianna added: “Your environment can make things difficult for you, but it is not a barrier”.

Ethnic minorities including Black people, have always been fighting for their freedom of speech or rights for what they deserve. Despite everyone having rights, some feel the need to speak out about the disadvantages faced due to race and ethnic background.

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