I maintain that U. S. News sell those university rankings as a way of reassuring potential students (or perhaps their anxious parents) that those large investments in tuition and fees produce human capital.  Selectivity functions as a proxy for "there won't be a lot of disengaged, unprepared, and clueless classmates dragging down the level of discourse."

Now comes the chancellor of Oxford University, Chris Patten, a man who has much to fear if the British version of the league tables rank Oxford as yet another regional comprehensive, telling the truth.
“I don’t support quotas at universities. Nobody will explain to me how you can make a system of quotas work while retaining the highest admissions standards.

“Quotas must mean lower standards. There are better ways of addressing social inclusion at universities."
Yes. Spell out the metrics by which you define diversity and by which you trade off preparation for diversity.  And while you're at it, deal with the failures in the lower grades.  "Patten's remarks blame high schools, rather than Oxford, for failing to prepare certain students for acceptance into prestigious universities."  I'm quite happy to have a Peer of the Realm taking up the cause, heretical though it might be.

No comments: