White students are more than twice as likely to be accepted at Cambridge University than black applicants, startling figures have revealed.
Almost one third of white candidates were accepted onto undergraduate courses in the 2009/10 academic year compared to just 11 percent of black students.
Figures held by Cambridge University also revealed 25 per cent of Chinese applicants were successful compared to 19 per cent Indian, 18 per cent Bangladeshi and 14 per cent of Pakistanis.
Last week Prime Minister David Cameron angered Oxford University during a speech where he claimed only one black student was accepted last year.
The university hit back accusing Cameron of making misleading statements and revealed there were in fact 27 black students admitted.
Andy McGowan, 22, access officer for Cambridge University Students’ Union, has blamed the education system for a lack of black students getting into top universities.
Mr McGowan, who graduated in law at Trinity Hall, claimed black students account for just 1.2 per cent of all degree applicants who have achieved three A-level A grades.
He said: ”Due to the failing of the education system more widely, the numbers of black students getting the highest grades is extremely low.
”It is clear that there is a much bigger problem of expectations and aspirations, which is a national issue and not one which can be blames on Oxbridge.
”The university needs to play its part in promoting the wide range of subjects that it offers, as black students tend to apply for the most competitive subjects, such as medicine and law, which is likely to impact on numbers receiving offers.”
In total 254 black candidates applied for undergraduate courses in 2009 but only 28 black students won a place – a success rate of just 11 per cent.
In the same year 8,288 white students applied for undergraduate courses and 2,408 were successful, or 29 per cent.
Only 85 of the 446 students from Indian backgrounds were successful, which is 19 per cent.
There were 128 applicants submitted by Pakistani students but only 18 – or 14 per cent – were successful.
The figures also revealed 10 out of 57 Bangladeshi students secured a place, which is 18 per cent.
Twenty-two per cent of students classified as ‘Asian other’ were successful and 24 per cent of ‘other’ ethnic origin and 13 per cent of ‘unknown’ secured a place.
In total there were 12,978 applicants and 3,157 won a place on an undergraduate course.
White students made up 76 per cent of the year’s intake.
A spokesman for Cambridge University said: ”The university invests significant time and resources in outreach activity which aims to help raise the attainment and aspiration of state school pupils, and those from under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds.
”The university is determined the financial concerns should not deter any prospective student from making an application.”