Unfair admission system hurts Asian applicants

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 December, 2011, 12:00am

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A discriminatory quota at many US universities against Asians has long been an unspoken practice.

Now a newspaper article has brought the issue out into the open.

According to the article 'US college strategy: Don't tick 'Asian'' (South China Morning Post, December 5), a Princeton sociologist found that Asians often need a 1,550SAT score to be in with a chance of getting into an elite American university - white students need only 1,410 and black students just 1,100.

The article suggests that some half-Asian students lie about their Asian heritage so they won't be grouped into the highly competitive 'Asian' category.

It is so unfair that some Asian college applicants are forced to disguise their ethnic roots.

And so the first lesson a youngster learns from university even before studying there is that not all races are treated equally.

Apparently, discrimination is still being practised by even the most liberal universities in the United States.

That means some Asian students have an early taste of unfair or unequal treatment in society. Discriminatory admission systems may exclude them from opportunities available to people from other backgrounds.

It is disheartening to know that many people simply choose to turn a blind eye to such discrimination.

Teachers, school admission officers, parents, and even the students themselves have opted for an easy way out. They simply prefer to ignore the obvious signs of discrimination which prevail during college application procedures.

It's as if such racism is seen as an inevitable fact of life that does not need to be addressed.

Perhaps they just want to go with the flow. Yet that's no excuse for failing to speak out against and tackle such discrimination.

By staying silent, they seem to reluctantly accept the system.

It is our duty to speak out so that we can fix what is wrong with the education system.

The selection process at universities should be based on requirements which are fair to all students regardless of their ethnic background.

Of course, complete racial equality cannot be achieved overnight. It will take time and prolonged effort, which is why it is important for universities to begin improving their admission systems as soon as possible.

The question, in an ethnically diverse country like the US, is whether students from minority groups will be willing to make compromises, or even sacrifices.