Episode 6 The Big Questions


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS


Episode 6

Nicky Campbell presents topical debate from St Edward's School, Oxford. Is Britain still racist? And, is the higher education system fit for purpose?


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Episode 6. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Today on The Big Questions:

Is Britain still racist?

0:00:060:00:08

And higher education.

0:00:080:00:09

Is it delivering for

students and society?

0:00:090:00:17

Good morning.

0:00:300:00:31

I'm Nicky Campbell.

0:00:310:00:32

Welcome to The Big Questions.

0:00:320:00:36

Today we're live from

St Edward's School in Oxford.

0:00:360:00:38

Welcome, everybody,

to The Big Questions.

0:00:380:00:43

Wednesday's announcement that

Cheddar Man, a Mesolithic

0:00:430:00:45

hunter-gatherer who lived

here 10,000 years ago,

0:00:450:00:51

was dark-skinned with blue eyes

turned upside down many people's

0:00:510:00:53

ideas about early Britons.

0:00:530:00:54

Pale skin and fair hair

didn't appear in Europe

0:00:540:00:56

until after the arrival

of farming, around 3000 years

0:00:560:00:59

later than Cheddar Man.

0:00:590:01:03

No-one knows how the dark-skinned

and fair-skinned Britons

0:01:030:01:06

viewed each other then

or even if they would have met.

0:01:060:01:12

But today we do know that the colour

of a person's skin does

0:01:120:01:15

affect their chances in life.

0:01:150:01:16

A recent survey by NatCen

for the Runnymede Trust found 26%

0:01:160:01:19

of the sample admitted

to being racially prejudiced.

0:01:190:01:21

18% thought that some races

or ethnic groups are born

0:01:210:01:27

with less intelligence and 44%

thought that some races

0:01:270:01:29

are naturally harder

working than others.

0:01:290:01:33

But while people of colour are more

likely to end up in prison,

0:01:330:01:36

white working-class boys

are still at the bottom

0:01:360:01:38

of the heap educationally.

0:01:380:01:41

And as Beyonce's dad remarked this

week, it's easier for those black

0:01:410:01:44

female artists with lighter

skin to become a success

0:01:440:01:46

than it is for their darker sisters.

0:01:460:01:48

Is Britain still racist?

0:01:480:01:52

Afua

0:01:520:01:52

Afua, you have written this

0:01:520:01:58

fascinating book Brit-ish, which has

caused a lot of stirrer and

0:01:580:02:01

interesting debate and conversation

but this is the question that you

0:02:010:02:04

have got to be asked. Middle-class

girl, private school, successful

0:02:040:02:08

journalist, how has racism effect

you?

I am glad you added the facts

0:02:080:02:14

in your intro because it has freed

me up from the need to insist that

0:02:140:02:18

racism does affect society. Whatever

statistics you take, a quarter of

0:02:180:02:25

people of another ethnic heritage

have been abused by a manager, half

0:02:250:02:31

of ethnic minority families are

living in poverty, the list is

0:02:310:02:35

endless. I have written this book

because I have had a very privileged

0:02:350:02:39

life. I am not a victim. I have had

so many opportunities and everywhere

0:02:390:02:43

I have gone in society, the media,

the bar, working in development, I

0:02:430:02:47

have seen structural unfairness

against people of colour. Everywhere

0:02:470:02:52

I have looked. And I feel it is the

responsibility for me to use my

0:02:520:02:56

platform to speak about these

things. If I don't... This is a

0:02:560:03:04

class based society. You need to

have privileged like me in most

0:03:040:03:06

cases to be able to access platforms

like this where we are sitting right

0:03:060:03:09

now. I am speaking about what I see

affecting all of us, whatever our

0:03:090:03:12

race, because we all live in a

structural racialised society.

What

0:03:120:03:17

about used African people, Asians

and the Chinese?

In my book I am

0:03:170:03:24

calling for a more detailed talk

about race. We are not all the same.

0:03:240:03:32

BAME is not one ethnic group.

South-east Asian people are

0:03:320:03:37

overrepresented at consultant level

in the NHS. It is important to

0:03:370:03:42

differentiate these experiences and

at the moment I am sorry to say that

0:03:420:03:45

we have a very simplistic approach.

We say that white working-class boys

0:03:450:03:50

are not doing well in schools in

coastal and rural areas. That means

0:03:500:03:54

we have overcome racism and the only

prejudice in society is class based.

0:03:540:03:58

Is anyone saying we have overcome

racism when we say that?

We have got

0:03:580:04:03

to have this conversation.

I thought

that was the nuance we were looking

0:04:030:04:07

for?

It is. I have not experienced

what the generation above me

0:04:070:04:11

experience, being chased down the

street by people with baseball bats

0:04:110:04:14

and being called offensive racial

slur words.

0:04:140:04:25

slur words. That has not been my

reality.

It has gone, hasn't it?

It

0:04:250:04:27

has not. Since Brexiter specially

there has been a spike in overt acts

0:04:270:04:30

of racism. But that has not been my

experience. My experience is a much

0:04:300:04:33

more insidious and harder to

articulate racism which is based on

0:04:330:04:36

400 years of history which does not

disappear overnight.

Thank you.

0:04:360:04:43

Professor Swaran Singh, so much to

go on here! So little time. 400

0:04:430:04:47

years of history. What do you think

about this? Some people see there is

0:04:470:04:53

identity politics here. You're

feeling of inferiority against

0:04:530:04:58

another person's and that is what

some people are saying about this.

0:04:580:05:03

What is your interpretation of that?

Simplistic?

It is. I was assaulted

0:05:030:05:09

by three white men. Since then I

have seen structural and individual

0:05:090:05:17

racism. And I have also seen the

enormous progress Britain has made.

0:05:170:05:22

I could either judge Britain by the

handful of bad experiences I have

0:05:220:05:25

had or the millions of ordinary

everyday interactions with ordinary,

0:05:250:05:35

everyday, white, British citizens.

The question is whether Britain is

0:05:350:05:38

racist. Compared to what? Compared

to a utopian mythical society where

0:05:380:05:44

nothing bad ever happens to anyone?

Britain is probably racist. Compared

0:05:440:05:48

to another society that has ever

existed, Britain is one of the

0:05:480:05:54

fairest in society. Racism certainly

exists and racist people certainly

0:05:540:06:01

exist but you can't judge this

society wholescale. And you cannot

0:06:010:06:07

use group differences and give a

simplistic answer. You can't say it

0:06:070:06:12

must be because of race. There are

multiple factors. And identity

0:06:120:06:17

politics, it is the student politics

of narcissism and being

0:06:170:06:21

self-centred.

The student politics

of narcissism? I saw you shuffling

0:06:210:06:26

in your chair!

It is ironic to say

it is narcissistic politics when

0:06:260:06:32

your whole answer was I have had

good experiences in Britain. Looking

0:06:320:06:36

at racism, you have got to look at

the collective. You can't find any

0:06:360:06:41

statistic that doesn't have a racial

bias in it, not one. We could go for

0:06:410:06:45

an hour. This does tell us when

we're having a debate about whether

0:06:450:06:50

Britain is racist. Of course it is.

You want to compare to other

0:06:500:06:53

countries and that is not the board.

The point is that racism is in the

0:06:530:06:57

DNA of this country let me finish.

Let me explain. Let me explain DNA.

0:06:570:07:05

That is quite afraid. I will come

back to you. We have time and I have

0:07:050:07:09

the inclination and you have got the

voice! Look at all the guests.

0:07:090:07:15

Racism, Tony Sewell, is in the DNA

of this country?

The Cheddar Man is

0:07:150:07:19

in the DNA of this country, which is

interesting. One of the points that

0:07:190:07:27

has been made, which we have got to

look at, is the notion of progress.

0:07:270:07:31

I grew up in the same era as Cyrille

Regis, the same generation, and we

0:07:310:07:37

experienced day and night racism

coming at us. I run a charity called

0:07:370:07:42

Generating Genius, which is day and

night producing probably at the

0:07:420:07:46

moment in terms of statistics,

talking about numbers here, probably

0:07:460:07:51

more black girls now going into

higher education than in the top

0:07:510:07:55

results. We will probably be

outstripping and beyond comparison

0:07:550:08:00

with other groups at the highest

level. What is happening here? I

0:08:000:08:07

think you are in danger with this

kind of discourse that says that

0:08:070:08:13

Britain is racist therefore we

can't, you will just make the lives

0:08:130:08:18

of those children just the sense

that we can't progress. It takes

0:08:180:08:23

away the real power ad agency.

Agency, the words coming out of my

0:08:230:08:28

mouth. In a couple of weeks we

celebrate the 70th anniversary of

0:08:280:08:35

the Windrush generation. That group

that came from the Caribbean and was

0:08:350:08:41

asked to come over here. Massive

resilience of those people that

0:08:410:08:46

withstood racism and came out. What

was characteristic of that

0:08:460:08:54

generation, and if they were here

now and speaking, they wouldn't

0:08:540:08:58

recognise this notion of Britain

being racist. They would see a

0:08:580:09:01

massive improvement. Unless you are

inside that, unless you are dealing

0:09:010:09:08

with that, you can't move on, and

you can't progress.

Do you agree

0:09:080:09:13

with people who say there is native

heard going on here?

Absolutely. --

0:09:130:09:21

varies victimhood.

0:09:210:09:27

varies victimhood. There is

victimhood. I fight with people day

0:09:270:09:29

and night to come out that

mentality. It is like what you are

0:09:290:09:33

thinking is holding you back. That

is the framework. I interrupted

0:09:330:09:39

Kehinde on the DNA point. I am sure

you would like to pick up and

0:09:390:09:43

respond.

This is why I say DNA.

Written's wealth was established on

0:09:430:09:50

slavery, genocide and colonialism.

You can have a whole session on

0:09:500:09:53

that. It is. It is not just that.

Why did we come in these numbers, to

0:09:530:09:58

build the nation. They brought us

into the country just to do their

0:09:580:10:04

work. This is a really important

point. It is not victimhood to

0:10:040:10:10

understand that you are racially

oppressed if you are black in

0:10:100:10:13

Britain today. That is not

victimhood. Let me explain.

We have

0:10:130:10:19

high achievers.

Male unemployment is

at crisis levels for black youths.

0:10:190:10:26

Crisis points. We are doing well in

our nice clothes.

0:10:260:10:37

our nice clothes.

Imperial College,

we are overrepresented.

And they

0:10:380:10:39

can't get jobs.

A lot of students

can't get jobs.

There are two really

0:10:390:10:45

important jobs. Black graduates are

significantly less likely to get

0:10:450:10:50

jobs. We are making an argument for

resistance. That is not victimhood.

0:10:500:10:55

I am not a victim and I am not

saying anybody is.

0:10:550:11:03

saying anybody is.

In Sunderland

now, I could be sitting here, in

0:11:030:11:06

Liverpool, I am picking up some

areas, and the same argument would

0:11:060:11:09

be running.

There will be people who

are poor if we were never here.

0:11:090:11:21

Tony, Kehinde

0:11:210:11:22

are poor if we were never here.

Tony, Kehinde, I will be with you. I

0:11:220:11:25

would be good in the classroom,

wouldn't I? This film that you made.

0:11:250:11:33

The Psychosis of Whiteness. Some

people might think that is a racist

0:11:330:11:37

title.

It is a provocative title!

If

somebody made a film Psychosis Of

0:11:370:11:45

Blackness.

They Did Actually Write A

Book About That.

I Stand Corrected.

0:11:450:11:51

We Have Just Presented All The

Evidence. There Is No Evidence That

0:11:510:11:55

There Is Not Racism In Britain And

Things Have Improved, There Isn't.

0:11:550:11:58

Instead Of Looking At It And

Understanding It, We Have An

0:11:580:12:02

Irrational Discussion About I Had

This Great Experience And We Have

0:12:020:12:05

These Graduates. The Point Of This

Argument Is That Whiteness Is Not

0:12:050:12:08

Just A Rational Thing That You Can

Debate. For 400 Years We Have Been

0:12:080:12:12

On The Right Side Of The Debate And

Nothing Has Changed. The 40 Minute

0:12:120:12:17

We Will Talk In Circles Because We

Cannot Admit To The Elephant In A

0:12:170:12:23

Room Which Is That This Country Is

Racist.

You Just Said There Was 40%

0:12:230:12:30

Unemployment But What Other 60%

Doing? They Are In Employment. How

0:12:300:12:35

Does That Work?

That Is Ridiculous!

Sorry I am making a point.

That

0:12:350:12:42

stops young man from getting jobs.

So why isn't it stopping that 60%?

0:12:420:12:47

You could give me an answer as to

why it is not affecting them

0:12:470:12:52

uniformly?

This is becoming about

ideology and not identity and there

0:12:520:13:00

is a difference.

Now come in on that

point?

In a second. If you don't

0:13:000:13:07

mind, we will come to you. You work

in Leicester. Do you see racism?

I

0:13:070:13:13

grew up in Leicester. It is

parallel, our lives, but different.

0:13:130:13:18

I would have grown up poor. But with

literally no racism growing up

0:13:180:13:24

whatsoever, in school, around me,

not at all. I grew up in mixed

0:13:240:13:28

areas. Having lived in London, one

of the things I really noticed was

0:13:280:13:38

that people, ethnic minorities that

I knew, had adopted a US centric

0:13:380:13:42

idea of race. That meant that they

tended to jump to racism as there go

0:13:420:13:47

to. Having grown up in Leicester and

environment I had, I saw it as being

0:13:470:13:51

a range of different things that

might occur. There might be reasons

0:13:510:13:56

for negative interaction. I wouldn't

always go for racism because they

0:13:560:13:59

could be a perfectly good other

reason for that which they didn't

0:13:590:14:02

have.

I am going to come back to the

audience and I know Afua wants to

0:14:020:14:07

come back in. I am doing the best

that I can and it is never going to

0:14:070:14:11

be good enough. You had your hand

up. Quick points from everyone.

The

0:14:110:14:18

student newspaper I edit, we ran a

front page a few weeks ago and we

0:14:180:14:23

worked out to an investigation that

only two black students in the

0:14:230:14:26

horror of Oxford got firsts in the

final results, compared to 850 white

0:14:260:14:31

students. Part of the problem used

to be that Oxford was not one to

0:14:310:14:35

address that. They were unwilling to

confront the colonial past that you

0:14:350:14:42

looked at. Example there was a guy

trying to sue Oxford for not getting

0:14:420:14:46

a first, and it turned out the

reason he got her 2:1 was because he

0:14:460:14:51

studied Indian history and 13 out of

15 people got a low mark on it

0:14:510:14:56

because Oxford is not willing to

provide provision, where is it will

0:14:560:15:01

for medieval European history.

That

is an assertion. Good morning. That

0:15:010:15:07

is the microphone.

I am relating to

the gentleman, I couldn't get his

0:15:070:15:12

name. He came to this country 30

years ago. He had a bad experience

0:15:120:15:17

on the third day. I have come to

this country eight years ago to do

0:15:170:15:20

my masters. Taking on board your

point as well, there were only two

0:15:200:15:25

white people in my class and the

other 23 people were from different

0:15:250:15:28

countries coming in. When we are

saying that there is not a balance,

0:15:280:15:33

it is not just race. There are so

many other factors and we need to be

0:15:330:15:37

mindful of that. Race, gender,

background you come from, your

0:15:370:15:44

family's values, everything. Plus in

eight years, I have not faced racism

0:15:440:15:48

one bit. I am not from a privileged

background at all. I have not faced

0:15:480:15:53

racism one bit. I have not come from

a privileged background. I had to

0:15:530:15:57

pay for my education, three times

more than the home students pay. I

0:15:570:16:00

am a paying member of the society

for the last seven years and I will

0:16:000:16:04

be employed by a respectable company

and I

0:16:040:16:10

and I have a white boyfriend. It is

that kind of thing! You need to look

0:16:120:16:14

at it from a wider mindset. I am not

saying racism is not there. Of

0:16:140:16:17

course it is there. But think about

it comparatively. Living in India

0:16:170:16:20

for 22 years, I have seen a lot

worse.

0:16:200:16:27

It is, it's a caste system, and it

is based on privileged and not

0:16:270:16:32

privileged families. You cannot say

it is not racist,.

Something

0:16:320:16:38

frustrating about this discussion is

that we are presenting anecdote as

0:16:380:16:43

evidence. I think it is a dangerous

thing to do. For instance, you said

0:16:430:16:46

the generation did not experience

racism, what about a novel the

0:16:460:16:55

Lonely Londoners, a whole experience

about racism. Think about the

0:16:550:16:59

writing of Claudia Jones.

She is a

journalist, it is an anecdote.

I am

0:16:590:17:04

saying there is a whole counter

history. Give me one second... If we

0:17:040:17:09

look at how economic inequalitys are

functioning in society it is

0:17:090:17:15

exacerbating racial inequalities. We

have seen an increase in statutory

0:17:150:17:18

homelessness across the board, a 9%

increase in statutory homelessness

0:17:180:17:26

for white people but 91% for Asian

people. We've seen growth in youth

0:17:260:17:30

unemployment which outstripped

unemployment for white people. When

0:17:300:17:35

it fell for white people it grew for

people of colour. When we talk about

0:17:350:17:40

race, I don't really care about

interactions, I really don't care

0:17:400:17:44

about talking about who has been

mean to me. What I care about isn't

0:17:440:17:48

what people say to me but what

people pay me. When we draw together

0:17:480:17:52

an analysis of race and class we

stop looking at competing interests

0:17:520:17:57

between white working class people

and working class people of colour.

0:17:570:18:01

We look at shed technologies of

resistance.

Let's get some numbers,

0:18:010:18:05

it was about 2% of the population

went. I went on holiday and I had a

0:18:050:18:11

great time. Now it is not the case.

Those days have gone.

Sadly, yes.

0:18:110:18:17

But let me tell you, the graduation

numbers and the higher education

0:18:170:18:23

minister would probably back me on

this, in terms of real numbers of

0:18:230:18:27

graduates coming out of

universities, the ethnic minority

0:18:270:18:31

level is higher than it has ever

been, real-time. What you've got to

0:18:310:18:36

look at, then let me tell you about

numbers in terms of educational

0:18:360:18:41

achievements. The groups that were

traditionally failing in the past,

0:18:410:18:46

the shift is moving in a completely

different direction. We have

0:18:460:18:51

stubborn groups...

I'm afraid that

isn't true. That is factually

0:18:510:18:57

untrue.

Let me finish, we have

groups around castes, I would say.

0:18:570:19:06

West African girls are outstripping

everybody, in real numbers. I work

0:19:060:19:11

for Haringey at the moment, we are

doing a project and the numbers for

0:19:110:19:16

those West African girls are

outstripping everybody. They are

0:19:160:19:23

real examples...

Why is that

happening?

Because we are now in a

0:19:230:19:30

situation where we are looking at

almost a group that has a migrant

0:19:300:19:35

mentality, similar to the wind rush

mentality that looks at education

0:19:350:19:39

and the achievement and parents,

driving that.

Aspiration?

Yes. And

0:19:390:19:48

this is quite important. The work

that I did was one of the reasons

0:19:480:19:53

why the group, particularly

Afro-Caribbean boys, why they failed

0:19:530:19:56

so much. We never looked at that, we

were looking at race. We never

0:19:560:20:01

looked at the subculture.

Specifically what was going wrong in

0:20:010:20:04

the family. Now we have a real

comparison, other West African

0:20:040:20:11

cousins are doing much better than

they are.

Just blame the family...!

0:20:110:20:18

This is part of the problem with a

right-wing ideology.

Was it a

0:20:180:20:23

right-wing ideology?

Yes, I'm sorry.

Let me look at the evidence. The

0:20:230:20:28

problem is the schools, not the

families. Even universities.

0:20:280:20:31

Celebrate this wonder. In the

schools, go to graduation and you

0:20:310:20:36

are less likely to get a first or a

2:1 if you are not white. Take your

0:20:360:20:43

qualification that you are so happy

about in the job market committee

0:20:430:20:46

still cannot get a job.

Can I ask

something? Is there a danger that we

0:20:460:20:55

are constantly focusing on race like

this and it alienates some people

0:20:550:20:58

and some people think, actually, the

British Empire and the appalling

0:20:580:21:05

genocide of the Atlantic slave

trade, it has nothing to do with me?

0:21:050:21:08

And they feel a finger is being

pointed at them because they are

0:21:080:21:13

white? There are other Empires as

well. This is what human beings do.

0:21:130:21:18

They subjugate.

Let me ask the

question.

Then you can have a go at

0:21:180:21:27

me, human beings subjugate each

other. If we look through history,

0:21:270:21:31

the Soviet empire, the Arab empire,

the Ottoman Empire, the Nigerian

0:21:310:21:36

Empire, precolonial, Zimbabwe Empire

with Colonial. It is the in group,

0:21:360:21:41

it is the outgroup. It isn't unique

to white people over the last 400

0:21:410:21:47

years.

This is the whole problem

with this discussion. Rome has gone.

0:21:470:21:54

Slavery and colonialism still

happens.

The after-shocks?

The

0:21:540:22:02

legacy, when slavery ends you have

Clooney is, neocolonialism and

0:22:020:22:07

racism. Black people in this country

are still disadvantaged -- you have

0:22:070:22:13

colonialism. You cannot just ignore

the problem and say, it was in the

0:22:130:22:21

past.

CLAPPING

The problem with using terms like

0:22:210:22:28

"Whiteness" and saying that we are

stuck in 400 years of history, it is

0:22:280:22:35

a counsel of despair. It says

nothing will ever change and nothing

0:22:350:22:40

can be done. It is juvenile.

Why?

Why is it juvenile?

It is arrested

0:22:400:22:50

at a point from which you cannot

shift. It is racist. What can white

0:22:500:22:55

people do about their whiteness?

I

have some suggestions about what

0:22:550:23:00

white people can do...

What can you

ask your white colleagues to do?

If

0:23:000:23:05

I blame them for whiteness, what do

I expect from them? What can Britain

0:23:050:23:09

do to get rid of its whiteness?

This

is sad, because I think actually we

0:23:090:23:16

all want the same things. I think we

all want a society in which we

0:23:160:23:21

function on a meritocracy where it

is not classed based in

0:23:210:23:26

discrimination, gender-based, I'm

confident we all want that. But the

0:23:260:23:31

issue of race is faced with a unique

hostility. If I said anti-Semitism

0:23:310:23:35

is on the rise in Britain, which it

is, I cannot imagine any of you

0:23:350:23:40

shouting me down saying it

encourages a victim mentality in

0:23:400:23:42

Jewish people.

We have that debate

two weeks ago.

I'm invested in this

0:23:420:23:48

country, I live here. But the issue

with race is that we are presenting

0:23:480:23:52

facts that show we have a problem.

If you take the blame, if you take

0:23:520:23:57

whiteness out the equation, I do

think whiteness is important, by the

0:23:570:24:02

way, we have problems. Why is it so

difficult to sit and have a

0:24:020:24:05

conversation about how we overcome

those problems? You can't do that if

0:24:050:24:08

you pretend they don't exist.

Of

course we want to overcome those

0:24:080:24:13

problems but you cannot do that with

a complex problem with simplistic

0:24:130:24:19

solutions.

I agree, but...

When

saying is Britain racist, we should

0:24:190:24:26

be saying it isn't racist, I'm from

an immigrant family myself, the

0:24:260:24:30

question is, are some people in

Britain racist, and what should we

0:24:300:24:33

do about it?

I want to pick up on

something that you said, we cannot

0:24:330:24:39

take whiteness out of the

equation...

What does that mean?

0:24:390:24:43

From personal experience I think a

lot of white people don't understand

0:24:430:24:47

whiteness. I grew up thinking

whiteness was normal and neutral.

0:24:470:24:51

Ethnic minority identities were

something else. They were other,

0:24:510:24:55

they were alien. Whiteness was

constructed, like blackness.

0:24:550:24:58

Whiteness was construct it for the

imperial project of making British

0:24:580:25:02

people believe it was justifiable to

conquer and roll other countries

0:25:020:25:06

because Brown is, blackness, it was

savage. This is fact. That's recent

0:25:060:25:15

history, my mother was born in the

Empire, she was born in a colony.

0:25:150:25:19

Many of us here have parents born in

a colony where it was over ideology.

0:25:190:25:24

We have all inherited it. I want us

to understand this -- over ideology.

0:25:240:25:31

For a start, the whole race

identity, particularly in the USA,

0:25:350:25:39

the ideological stance they had, and

in South Africa, that was a more

0:25:390:25:45

rigid idea of race compared to what

was floating around in the UK. It

0:25:450:25:49

was a post hock rationalisation. In

Britain itself, it was a lot looser

0:25:490:26:00

than in the US. That adoption of the

US centric model, I feel it on

0:26:000:26:05

myself, I know my family's concept

of racism is completely different.

0:26:050:26:10

And in terms of what they thought on

race in India would have been

0:26:100:26:14

different in their towns and

villages because their concept of

0:26:140:26:17

racism was not accepted. They were

humanists in the first place. It was

0:26:170:26:23

outright rejected. The idea that

somehow I have to accept this

0:26:230:26:26

concept of race now,... That is the

problem.

You are right to say there

0:26:260:26:35

isn't a single colonial relation,

there are multiple relations. You

0:26:350:26:38

look at Britain's Empire, it wasn't

just between white and black. You

0:26:380:26:43

had an Asian petty bourgeoisie in

the Caribbean.

I'm talking about

0:26:430:26:51

villages here.

Give me a second. So

you have multiple colonial relations

0:26:510:26:56

and it plays out in how race works

in this country. That's why you do

0:26:560:27:00

not have a strict binary of race the

same way we find in the US. That

0:27:000:27:07

doesn't mean we didn't have

institutionally racist policies

0:27:070:27:10

which endure to this day. Except it

is under the auspices of colour

0:27:100:27:14

blind ideology. Being the right to

rent policy, since it was brought

0:27:140:27:20

in, criminalising landlords who let

to undocumented migrants, 44% of

0:27:200:27:25

landlords have said this has made

them less likely to let properties

0:27:250:27:29

to those that they perceive to be

migrants. It's the colour of your

0:27:290:27:36

skin. So here we have a racist

policy.

It is not a racist policy,

0:27:360:27:40

that's the point. It has a racist

outcome but the policy itself was

0:27:400:27:46

not designed to be racist. It's an

unintended consequence of something.

0:27:460:27:53

It can be racist if it is not

intended to be racist...

Hang on a

0:27:530:27:57

second. Hang on a second.

You are

denying the facts in front of your

0:27:570:28:03

eyes!

Let me take a step back and

just... OK, in the audience? Anyone?

0:28:030:28:11

Here it comes... Good morning!

Good

morning. What I wanted to say is

0:28:110:28:19

that when I first heard the French

parliament had out ruled the word

0:28:190:28:30

because there was no such thing as

"Race", I felt a rush of relief

0:28:300:28:34

because I too was carrying that

around, that I belonged to a race

0:28:340:28:39

and it is scientifically not true. I

feel like if more people, if this

0:28:390:28:45

becomes common knowledge, we then

take away the Cushing from under the

0:28:450:28:51

races.

That is the message of the

Cheddar Man, in a sense?

We can do

0:28:510:29:00

that. It was a stroke of genius, I

feel, for the French parliament to

0:29:000:29:03

do that.

France has no idea about

the level of racism... Kehinde

0:29:030:29:13

do that.

France has no idea about

the level of racism... Kehinde, kind

0:29:130:29:15

of on that point.

On the palate of

pigmentation, where does it stop? It

0:29:150:29:21

is a social construct, isn't it,

can't you self identify? And why

0:29:210:29:27

white, my black?

It isn't about

identity, France is a perfect

0:29:270:29:33

example. It's probably one of the

most racist countries in Europe. To

0:29:330:29:37

say we don't see race, it makes no

difference, we talk about identity

0:29:370:29:43

and funny, whiteness isn't an

identity, it is a politics. You can

0:29:430:29:49

be Asian or black and have this

psychosis of whiteness. I will say

0:29:490:29:56

this, if we are presenting very

clear evidence that there is racism,

0:29:560:30:00

and your answer is, let me finish...

Let him finish, Tarjinder

0:30:000:30:04

and your answer is, let me finish...

Let him finish, Tarjinder, please.

0:30:040:30:07

Every statistic surrounding race is

terrible. There are two answers. One

0:30:070:30:11

is racism and the other is that

white people are superior and that

0:30:110:30:14

is why there is so much privilege.

Considering it is a racist argument,

0:30:140:30:19

you probably don't want to go there!

Kehinde

0:30:190:30:23

you probably don't want to go there!

Kehinde, can black people be racist?

0:30:230:30:27

Yes, we can reinforce these ideas

yes. It's about the system, not

0:30:270:30:30

about like or dislike.

Can black

people be racist towards white

0:30:300:30:37

people?

It isn't an individual

thing, that is the worst way to

0:30:370:30:41

think about racism. It is about the

structure and the ideology, the

0:30:410:30:45

system and those things. Not about

whether you don't might Asian

0:30:450:30:48

people, that is not the question.

On

one hand you talk about nuance, then

0:30:480:30:56

the blanket term of whiteness.

CLAPPING

0:30:560:31:02

And if I don't agree with you, I'm

white?

0:31:050:31:14

white?

Ash, start again.

Why is it

that white people hate hearing the

0:31:140:31:18

word they invented for themselves?

They invented for themselves?

It is

0:31:180:31:24

true. If you look at it, it was

invented in the slavery feels.

But

0:31:240:31:36

it is a monolith, everybody thinking

the same way.

Historically it is a

0:31:360:31:41

fact. It is a fact. If you look

at...

0:31:410:31:49

at... Recently, The Invention Of The

White Race.

It is an anecdote.

It is

0:31:490:31:57

a history book. You can't call it an

anecdote. All human knowledge is an

0:31:570:32:02

anecdote. This is the well

researched historical book which

0:32:020:32:05

looks at the codification of

whiteness in legal terms. This was

0:32:050:32:10

basically invented to justify

horrific practices on the

0:32:100:32:14

plantations. And to justify a system

of political economy. When we say

0:32:140:32:18

that something is a social construct

that doesn't just mean it is fake.

0:32:180:32:22

It has real outcomes but it means it

can be unpicked through social

0:32:220:32:25

processes and that is what we are

talking about. I think we need to

0:32:250:32:29

start talking about what those

social processes that can unpick the

0:32:290:32:32

structure of whiteness at what they

might look like.

What about the

0:32:320:32:38

working class people in this country

who have been oppressed for so many

0:32:380:32:41

years by the same people who had the

plantations? They are not in that

0:32:410:32:45

monolith of evil white people.

And I

am talking about class solidarity

0:32:450:32:52

which is important.

Scientific

racism is bad for everybody. It was

0:32:520:32:56

used to justify black and Asian

people's inferiority. And it was

0:32:560:33:01

used to persuade white working class

people to accept horrific conditions

0:33:010:33:06

on the basis of inherited

inferiority. This is history and I

0:33:060:33:08

am pleased to say there are many

academics in the mainstream who

0:33:080:33:11

recognise this. This discussion is

not reflective of the level of

0:33:110:33:16

progress we have made, thank God. If

we were still here debating whether

0:33:160:33:19

whiteness exists, we would be so far

behind there would be no hope.

We

0:33:190:33:24

need to find some road ahead. How do

we head towards a better society,

0:33:240:33:32

are less racist society?

You don't

want to go there.

You don't?

He

0:33:320:33:41

wanted to be bad. He needs it to be

bad and I will tell you why. Because

0:33:410:33:48

his politics around recognition, in

order to be recognised, in order to

0:33:480:33:59

justify the ideas that he has, he

needs the sense that he will always

0:33:590:34:02

be a victim. Apparently it is bad.

That is bad for black people and

0:34:020:34:09

working class white people and I

will tell you why. What it doesn't

0:34:090:34:14

understand is where there is

progress, where there is agency,

0:34:140:34:17

where there is the ability to

change, where there is the ability

0:34:170:34:21

to go into yourself and make a

difference, that has been the power

0:34:210:34:26

that took us off the plantations in

the first place.

You can have agency

0:34:260:34:32

and politics at the same time. They

coexist.

0:34:320:34:38

coexist.

A lot of young people will

believe that they can't progress

0:34:390:34:43

because there is an ideology out

there.

Can I come to you for the

0:34:430:34:47

question again?

Believe doesn't

change incarceration rates. We

0:34:470:34:52

cannot inspire our way out of

poverty.

Let me ask... Wait a

0:34:520:34:58

minute, everybody. You are doing it

again. Let me ask you the question.

0:34:580:35:03

Not responded to him but the

question that brings us to a

0:35:030:35:06

conclusion. What do white people

need to do?

I think those comments

0:35:060:35:10

are ironic given that there are some

people because they are black and

0:35:100:35:15

they say what white people want to

hear, they get a platform.

That is

0:35:150:35:19

not me. What do white people need to

do?

My politics is all about what do

0:35:190:35:23

we need to do and how we need to

organise and resist. There are

0:35:230:35:27

plenty of things that we can do.

As,

what do white people need to do?

I

0:35:270:35:34

think there are policies that are

winnable and we can work together

0:35:340:35:37

towards them. We get rid of the

hostile environment immigration

0:35:370:35:41

policy which turns

0:35:410:35:47

policy which turns doctors,

teachers, landlords, into border

0:35:500:35:51

guards. We can get rid of that.

A

lot of other minority people are

0:35:510:35:53

against immigration at the level

that we have.

The last of the boat

0:35:530:35:56

syndrome. If you assimilate into a

racist ideology, you think you can

0:35:560:35:59

benefit from it but that is a load

of rubbish. People of colour need to

0:35:590:36:03

express more solidarity with each

other. At the things we can do is

0:36:030:36:09

address incarceration rates by

looking at non-custodial solutions

0:36:090:36:12

to non-violent crime. And a third

thing we can do, look at ethnic

0:36:120:36:16

minority education grants which have

since been got rid of under the

0:36:160:36:19

Conservative government. That was

effective at reducing the attainment

0:36:190:36:23

gap. And we can look at those types

of grants to look at geographical

0:36:230:36:29

disparities, class disparities,

things that overall benefit

0:36:290:36:30

everybody.

There are things you

don't take into account. Ethnicity

0:36:300:36:36

is something you don't take into

account.

I am so sorry. We have got

0:36:360:36:40

to finish that debate because we

have got more to discuss but it

0:36:400:36:44

segues into education quite nicely.

Afua

0:36:440:36:50

segues into education quite nicely.

Afua, it is a wonderfully

0:36:500:36:52

provocative book very interesting,

Brit-ish, and I appreciate you

0:36:520:36:55

coming to talk about it. A lot of

people spoke. People might not agree

0:36:550:36:59

with it but it is worth breeding

because it gets you thinking and

0:36:590:37:02

there is nothing wrong with that. --

it is worth rereading it.

0:37:020:37:11

You can join in all this

morning's debates by logging

0:37:110:37:13

on to bbc.co.uk/thebigquestions

and following the link

0:37:130:37:15

to the online discussion.

0:37:150:37:16

Or you can tweet using

the hashtag bbctbq.

0:37:160:37:18

Tell us what you think

about our last big question too.

0:37:180:37:20

Is the higher education

system fit for purpose?

0:37:200:37:22

And if you'd like to apply to be

in the audience at a future show you

0:37:220:37:26

can email audiencetbq@mentorn.tv.

0:37:260:37:27

We're in Leicester next week,

then Bath on February 25th,

0:37:270:37:30

and Edinburgh the week after that.

0:37:300:37:31

That is my hometown. Oh, dear! I

tell you!

0:37:310:37:41

Now that students are getting

in debt to the tune of up to £50,000

0:37:410:37:45

for a university education,

they are being far more critical

0:37:450:37:47

of exactly what they have bought.

0:37:470:37:50

This week, one Oxford history

graduate lost his bid to sue

0:37:500:37:52

the university because

he didn't get a first.

0:37:520:37:55

We heard about that earlier from one

of our audience contributors.

0:37:550:38:01

He blamed negligently inadequate

teaching and said this has had

0:38:010:38:04

a marked deleterious effect

on his subsequent legal career.

0:38:040:38:06

And students are demanding

compensation if their lecturers take

0:38:060:38:08

industrial action later this month.

0:38:080:38:09

Cancelled lectures,

tutorials and seminars

0:38:090:38:11

might blight their future

chances, they're arguing.

0:38:110:38:17

A university education is now

something young people invest

0:38:170:38:19

in heavily expecting a good return.

0:38:190:38:24

But on Monday, Robert Halfon, chair

of the Education Select Committee,

0:38:240:38:27

said the returns were now paltry

and between a fifth and a third

0:38:270:38:31

of students ended up in jobs that

didn't require a degree

0:38:310:38:33

in the first place.

0:38:330:38:35

Yet swathes of British industry says

it can't find the people

0:38:350:38:38

with the skills it needs

for the future.

0:38:380:38:40

Is the higher education

system fit for purpose?

0:38:400:38:44

Robert, you are here. Excellent. I

was very lucky. I got a grant. I'd

0:38:440:38:52

went to university and those are

very different days. Why is it not

0:38:520:38:55

fit for purpose now?

Between one

third and a fifth of students are

0:38:550:39:01

not getting good graduates skilled

jobs at the moment. We face the rise

0:39:010:39:05

of the robots. 28% of jobs done by

young people will be lost to robots

0:39:050:39:11

by 2030. How universities are not

doing enough on skills. We need to

0:39:110:39:17

do a lot more on apprenticeships. We

do not have enough disadvantaged

0:39:170:39:21

people getting into the best

universities and getting good job

0:39:210:39:25

outcomes at the end.

Is it all about

job outcome?

It must be about the

0:39:250:39:30

skills because we have the march of

the robots coming. We have a huge

0:39:300:39:34

problem in our country. We should be

putting money into apprenticeships

0:39:340:39:38

and degree apprenticeships and

withholding money from universities

0:39:380:39:41

who don't offer those. It is a shame

that we are approximate and Oxford

0:39:410:39:52

will not offer degree

apprenticeships. Cambridge have

0:39:520:39:54

announced an apprenticeship

programme only last week. We need to

0:39:540:39:56

dramatically change how we think

about higher education.

Is it

0:39:560:39:58

entirely about preparing young

people for the world of work? Isn't

0:39:580:40:00

it about expanding young people's

mines and giving them an experience?

0:40:000:40:04

Of course but if you want an

experience, go to Alton Towers.

That

0:40:040:40:11

diminishes it!

What university must

be about his intellectual

0:40:110:40:16

development and preparing you for

the world of work and skills because

0:40:160:40:19

that is the world we are about to

enter.

We have had some lines on

0:40:190:40:23

this programme over the years.

I

would like to make it very clear

0:40:230:40:26

that I agree with Robert that this

country needs to invest much more

0:40:260:40:30

heavily in apprenticeships. But it

isn't necessarily universities who

0:40:300:40:33

should be providing them. I would

also like to pick up on a point

0:40:330:40:39

which seems to me to be a

contradiction in Robert's speech,

0:40:390:40:43

which I have had the pleasure to

read. He talks about automation

0:40:430:40:47

removing a lot of jobs. Precisely

the kind of skills we need for we

0:40:470:40:51

don't know what they will be, the

jobs in the future, problem-solving

0:40:510:40:54

of kinds we can't imagine, it is the

mental agility that what you call

0:40:540:41:01

scathingly a full academic degree,

it is a mental agility that a degree

0:41:010:41:06

gives you, the scrutiny of sources,

production of your perception of

0:41:060:41:10

your own capacities and knowledge to

zero and then building back up

0:41:100:41:13

through the challenging of your

assumptions. It doesn't matter that

0:41:130:41:17

much what the subject is. And being

a Renaissance studies scholar, I am

0:41:170:41:22

often told it is airy fairy nonsense

but it is not the subject. When

0:41:220:41:27

students come to my seminars, they

think they will not be interested in

0:41:270:41:31

16th century culture but they are

fascinated by the processes. What is

0:41:310:41:36

true and what isn't? It is skills,

those are skills. Tell me what the

0:41:360:41:43

employer skills are?

You get

intellectual involvement in every

0:41:430:41:48

single degree you do. But where we

have a big problem in our country is

0:41:480:41:52

we are way behind, and this has been

going on for years, we are behind

0:41:520:41:56

many other countries in skills.

What

are the skills?

0:41:560:42:04

are the skills?

Manufacturing,

engineering, health care,

0:42:040:42:05

technology. We are about to face a

huge amount of automation and we

0:42:050:42:10

need to transform education system

to reflect that. All degrees,

0:42:100:42:14

including yours, every degree gives

people intellectual development as

0:42:140:42:18

you have described. But we need to

change the system to make sure that

0:42:180:42:22

our younger people can get to the

education and opportunities and job

0:42:220:42:27

prospects that they need but also

that the country needs.

I would just

0:42:270:42:31

like to come back to Nicky's point

because you say it is about job

0:42:310:42:35

security. One of the reports

produced by Nick's organisation

0:42:350:42:41

recently talks about which students

go into higher education and what

0:42:410:42:46

for. We talk about an impoverished

view of it, the only value being

0:42:460:42:52

financial benefit, which is an

individual benefit. But higher

0:42:520:42:56

education has been shown in a report

a while back called Too Good To

0:42:560:43:01

Fail, it has shown that are highly

educated populace Scott Speed is not

0:43:010:43:07

just to the prophet of the country

but its social cohesion, the lack of

0:43:070:43:10

prejudice in a country as well. That

takes us back to the earlier point.

0:43:100:43:19

Your view of education is very

limited. It seems to only be about

0:43:190:43:24

jobs. But students themselves in

this report say that we go in for

0:43:240:43:31

fascination. For enjoyment. For

interest.

You are taking a £50,000

0:43:310:43:36

alone. What is the purpose if you

don't want a good job at the end?

0:43:360:43:40

That is why students go to

university.

Let me bring Matteo in.

0:43:400:43:47

He has come to talk about this and I

want to give him a chance to do so.

0:43:470:43:50

And of people want to contribute.

80% of kids in Singapore go to

0:43:500:43:55

university and it is working for

them.

It is a different set-up. It

0:43:550:44:00

is more about the universities

themselves and the way they market

0:44:000:44:04

themselves that what they deliver.

Not too long ago the university was

0:44:040:44:07

free and you went for that reason,

to expand your mind and understand

0:44:070:44:11

more about your subject, whatever it

may be. Fine, yes, but nowadays with

0:44:110:44:17

tuition fees, it has become more

about employment and that is what

0:44:170:44:23

universities sell themselves as.

Come to university, get a degree and

0:44:230:44:26

a job and move on, and that is not

the case. We have been lied to in

0:44:260:44:32

that respect. Universities have not

moved forward.

That isn't right. We

0:44:320:44:36

have been lied to and it came from

the Tony Blair days principally. I

0:44:360:44:41

believe that was partly due to

getting people often employment

0:44:410:44:43

list. Let's say he has pure views

and it was about getting people into

0:44:430:44:54

education...

What would you say to a

young, working-class man or woman.

I

0:44:540:44:59

haven't finished.

Answer this and

then finish your point. It comes

0:44:590:45:02

from what you have just said. What

would you say to a young working

0:45:020:45:07

class man or woman who might be the

first person of his or her family

0:45:070:45:12

ever to get to university? Might

they be wasting their time?

I hear

0:45:120:45:16

your point and I say that is

irrelevant. What is relevant is that

0:45:160:45:20

the person takes the right fit for

their future life. What is the point

0:45:200:45:24

of going to university and ending up

with a to: or 2:2 which might be

0:45:240:45:37

challenged by their employer? I've

interviewed thousands of graduates

0:45:370:45:39

and I look at their character and

personality and if they have got a

0:45:390:45:43

2:2 they have got to explain to me

why they spent five years going

0:45:430:45:46

through A-levels and a degree only

to get a 2:2. Where is the sense of

0:45:460:45:51

achievement? How do they demonstrate

to me with a 2:2 just from their

0:45:510:45:58

education that they are actually

worth coming into my business.

0:45:580:46:04

Higher education is like marriage,

it works out for most people most of

0:46:040:46:08

the time. There are a few people for

whom it does not work out. Going to

0:46:080:46:14

university earns you more money

makes you less likely to become

0:46:140:46:17

employed...

There are a lot of

people it doesn't work for.

John...

0:46:170:46:23

I want to hear from Nick.

There's a

long list of benefits. They are not

0:46:230:46:28

all financial. You earn more, you

are more likely to have a well-paid

0:46:280:46:32

job. You are more likely to have

better mental health if you have

0:46:320:46:35

been to university and engaged in

your local community. You are less

0:46:350:46:39

likely to go to prison and live

longer. Many people meet their life

0:46:390:46:43

partners. I met the mother of my

children at university and my wife.

0:46:430:46:48

That may not necessarily be because

they went to university, there may

0:46:480:46:52

be other factors. It may not be

cause and effect.

The academic

0:46:520:46:56

comparisons, they take people who

could go to university but have

0:46:560:47:00

chosen not to and they compare them

to people who have been. You did

0:47:000:47:03

well going to university, the member

parliament has, I have. University

0:47:030:47:08

works out for most people most of

the time. I agree with many of the

0:47:080:47:12

things that Robert Halfon and the

rest of his committee does, I agree

0:47:120:47:16

with a lot of what he says but he is

slightly forgetting a modern

0:47:160:47:20

university, we are in Oxford, it

doesn't just have Oxford University

0:47:200:47:25

but they have Oxford Brookes where

they train nurses and teachers,

0:47:250:47:29

then...

But why should they not

offer apprenticeships? You earn

0:47:290:47:36

while you learn and you have no

debt. You get the skills that John

0:47:360:47:39

is talking about.

Let's hear from

the gentleman in the T-shirt.

Good

0:47:390:47:48

morning. I am shocked by what you

said.

Robert Halfon?

Yes, it's

0:47:480:47:55

awful. Every single person deserves

to go and do a degree and it is up

0:47:550:48:00

to that person to have the drive to

go and get that job. Even if it

0:48:000:48:04

means going to other jobs that they

don't want to do until they get them

0:48:040:48:08

back. So long as they have focus and

drive they will get there. You

0:48:080:48:13

should be focusing on discouraging

people from going and getting

0:48:130:48:17

degrees and brainwashing them into

thinking that they should just go

0:48:170:48:19

and get any job. You should think

about getting agriculture bringing

0:48:190:48:25

the YTS scheme back, a modern

version where people go and finish

0:48:250:48:28

school and go into a vacation, for

example, maybe it is electricity or

0:48:280:48:35

plumbing, building, or even retail.

I work in retail myself. You should

0:48:350:48:40

be looking at doing that. Not

discouraging people from going to

0:48:400:48:43

university. And trying to blame

teachers and universities.

Let me

0:48:430:48:50

take it to the audience a bit.

Good

morning. Debbie Williams. I didn't

0:48:500:48:59

go to university and we did really

well. We currently employ 24 people,

0:48:590:49:04

six of whom are apprentices. There's

a massive skills gap in the current

0:49:040:49:10

market and I believe people can go

to university of that is what they

0:49:100:49:15

choose and I believe apprenticeships

play a big part in meeting our

0:49:150:49:17

economy forward.

Absolutely.

0:49:170:49:24

So far we have focused on the idea

of the student has a customer.

0:49:240:49:28

That's a really unhealthy model for

thinking about education. Since the

0:49:280:49:34

£9,000 fees came in, there's been a

0.5 increase in dropout rates. They

0:49:340:49:41

are having to work while they do a

degree. Their workloads increase and

0:49:410:49:45

they are beset with economic

anxiety. Let me raise a point about

0:49:450:49:48

what university is like as an

employer. For my sins I am also a

0:49:480:49:53

lecturer in politics at Anglia

Ruskin. I'm proud to work in this

0:49:530:49:59

job but because of the contract I am

on, it works out that I am earning

0:49:590:50:05

sometimes under the minimum wage of

I have a lot of marking. We talk

0:50:050:50:08

about the quality of teaching but

you cannot get back kind of quality

0:50:080:50:14

-- that kind of quality on the cheap

but the vice Chancellor 's play has

0:50:140:50:19

skyrocketed. These conditions don't

rust effect academic staff, they

0:50:190:50:24

affect cleaners, porters, security,

catering staff. Rather than looking

0:50:240:50:28

at an education that is something

extracted by students as customers

0:50:280:50:34

by unwilling and incompetent

academics, let's look at unequal pay

0:50:340:50:40

structures in universities, and how

it negatively affects anyone who is

0:50:400:50:42

not academic.

At the moment, I feel

like I am on my own in this world. I

0:50:420:50:48

should be the Minister for money or

whatever for the government.

I run a

0:50:480:50:53

charity. Chancellor of the

Exchequer? Minister for Money!

0:50:530:51:02

Hundreds of students are put into

universities from disadvantaged

0:51:020:51:08

backgrounds. We use the Chelsea

football club model. Where students

0:51:080:51:12

begin with us when they are aged 14.

We have a relationship with the

0:51:120:51:16

university that means they adopt

them, and we work through them and

0:51:160:51:23

then they are attached to the

university and they get through on

0:51:230:51:26

that basis. For me, I think the

problem is that we are confusing two

0:51:260:51:31

things. I think the

0:51:310:51:37

things. I think the issue with

skills surrounds science and that

0:51:370:51:39

area. Convincing our young people

that that is an area they should go

0:51:390:51:45

into. Universities have to change

that game, it has to be one where

0:51:450:51:48

they are engaging students at a

younger level. This private school,

0:51:480:51:53

where we are in the studio at the

moment, it looks like a Cambridge

0:51:530:51:59

college. Our state schools do not

reflect that. There is a

0:51:590:52:06

disadvantage in the routes that we

have, getting to those top

0:52:060:52:10

universities.

I agree, I came to

Oxford from a comprehensive, and as

0:52:100:52:18

an academic, I will take the floor

for a second, my family two

0:52:180:52:25

generations ago were miners, I am a

success in that sense but

0:52:250:52:31

universities do need to engage lower

down, but we are. I am the Access

0:52:310:52:37

Officer, I hate that word, it

suggests normal people from state

0:52:370:52:41

schools are abnormal in a way that I

have worked with ten-year-olds. We

0:52:410:52:47

inspire early on. Could I move onto

Robert's point and the lady in the

0:52:470:52:52

audience? We all agree that this

country desperately needs to invest

0:52:520:52:57

in apprenticeships, no question. But

on Robert's proposal of imposing in

0:52:570:53:03

his ideal up to 50% of degrees in

universities is being degree

0:53:030:53:08

apprenticeships, that's a bit

problematic. If you are a young

0:53:080:53:11

student who lends technical skills,

great. Follow that route.

0:53:110:53:18

Absolutely. But I am slightly

worried by the fact that Rob thinks

0:53:180:53:24

he is helping particularly

underprivileged kids by

0:53:240:53:26

apprenticeship skills. You are

shutting down the possibility for

0:53:260:53:30

that kid to be a judge or a lawyer.

Some points from the audience now?

0:53:300:53:42

Thank you., is higher education fit

for purpose? We need to rewind it

0:53:420:53:46

back and say, is education fit for

purpose? Take it back to secondary

0:53:460:53:50

schools. I firmly believe that your

passions and abilities are in your

0:53:500:53:55

early teenage years. They were for

me and they were not exploited. It

0:53:550:54:00

was a generation ago, as you can

probably tell, they may be better,

0:54:000:54:05

that's cool, now, but people can

concentrate on their abilities a lot

0:54:050:54:08

younger. You should be asking

questions at universities about your

0:54:080:54:15

abilities and interests. I'm a

self-made man. My education didn't

0:54:150:54:19

help me in that at all. I've done it

myself, basically.

You are a

0:54:190:54:25

self-made man costume at

University

is vital to society. I absolutely

0:54:250:54:30

agree, who couldn't? But there is

more to life than university. What

0:54:300:54:34

we need to do is identify young

people's skills as early as

0:54:340:54:40

possible, somebody mentioned the YTS

scheme, I had a lot of YTSs in my

0:54:400:54:45

business which allowed them to find

out what job they wanted to do. We

0:54:450:54:49

need to put a lot more effort into

identifying people's skills, playing

0:54:490:54:54

to those skills and encouraging them

down the right route. Whether that

0:54:540:54:59

is university, to develop into

professional careers like judges and

0:54:590:55:04

lawyers and so one, or whether it is

skills. Whether it's a plumber or an

0:55:040:55:08

engineer. Only give you an

example...

Am afraid we don't have

0:55:080:55:13

time. We are running out of time.

As

I said, all degrees ensure

0:55:130:55:22

intellectual development which is

important but with the march of the

0:55:220:55:25

robots and with the skills we need

for the future, we need to change

0:55:250:55:29

how we look at things. In terms of

apprenticeships, about 25% of

0:55:290:55:33

apprenticeships come from the

poorest of areas in the country.

0:55:330:55:38

They are incredible educational

lands of opportunity. For many

0:55:380:55:44

people. You do apprenticeships,

there are legal apprenticeships,

0:55:440:55:50

there are a prince ships for every

single thing. We need to change how

0:55:500:55:53

we think of our system and the

skills we have.

Wait a minute, we

0:55:530:56:04

need to change...

We are talking

about education and university as if

0:56:040:56:07

it is the be all and end all of

education. The idea that a degree is

0:56:070:56:11

the pinnacle of where you can get.

Not at all, I said there were many

0:56:110:56:16

different routes.

We are thinking

about other routes for kids.

Someone

0:56:160:56:23

in the audience mentioned secondary

schools. When you go to secondary

0:56:230:56:27

schools, the only option that you

were often given by the careers

0:56:270:56:32

adviser was University or working in

a menial job. You are never given a

0:56:320:56:35

myriad of options.

0:56:350:56:43

myriad of options.

And amused by

this conversation. John's company

0:56:430:56:47

needs accountants, those who made

the telephones, designers, many of

0:56:470:56:50

whom have been to university. Nobody

is saying 100% of people should go

0:56:500:56:55

to university, and saying 70% but

nobody is saying 100%. For a lot of

0:56:550:57:00

people it isn't the right thing. But

we do need the best apprenticeships.

0:57:000:57:06

They now end with a degree. The

final destination is the same place.

0:57:060:57:12

Not a degree in Renaissance

studies...

What an easy Dick there!

0:57:120:57:19

I argued very strongly for the

mental agility

0:57:190:57:25

-- that was an easy dig there. I

argued very strongly for the mental

0:57:250:57:33

agility.

I feel bad now, I actually

agree, I was just poking around!

0:57:330:57:44

agree, I was just poking around! I

did history. Useless! Have a cup of

0:57:440:57:50

coffee afterwards. Felt hurt.

It's

all right, I can cope with it!

0:57:500:57:59

all right, I can cope with it!

No

snowflakes. That is the problem,

0:58:000:58:03

isn't it?

I don't think we have the

time to get into that discussion!

0:58:030:58:07

John Cooney you

0:58:070:58:07

-- John Cone you said you would give

an example? I was lucky, I had an

0:58:110:58:18

apprenticeship and it was a

phenomenal experience, through to

0:58:180:58:22

working on the factory, the day

release to

0:58:220:58:29

an two nights a week I had to really

grasp.

I had a qualification in that

0:58:290:58:35

work time. I came out fully

qualified. What better way to train!

0:58:350:58:43

Thank you for joining us, Leicester

next week. Thank you so much. Have a

0:58:430:58:47

great Sunday! APPLAUSE

0:58:470:58:54