Harvard’s admissions standards are a slap in the face for Asian aspirations
Harvard University claims to improve student diversity using admission policies that favour positive personal attributes over the routinely stellar academic prowess that remains a bastion of strength for unsuccessful Asian applicants (“We’re now the loud majority’: Asian-Americans protest against Harvard over admissions”, October 15).
However, the recent example of Taiwanese-American Harvard graduate and the NBA basketball protégé Jeremy Lin testifies against the charisma deficit of Asian applicants tarred with the brush of interchangeable high-achieving monotony.
It beggars belief that diligence, perseverance, academic and occasional sporting aptitude – the basis for Asian-Americans’ success among the educational and professional elite – is now viewed with such contempt by Harvard.
Harvard should not rank social media-fuelled sociability and assertive self-casting above the thoughtfulness and quiet assured intelligence gained from the deeply ingrained work ethic of Asian-American students. Harvard’s attitude is bereft of respect for toiling teachers and mentors, the urgent sense of achievement from years of effort in education, and the struggle to do better than previous generations.
The sting in the tail is that Asian families' sacrifice and zeal to better educate their children is being repudiated by the world’s most prestigious university. Parents accused of robbing their kids of all else that is meaningful and enjoyable in a teenager’s life in the pursuit of the Holy Grail will find now that the ultimate prize will now be denied them.
Joseph Ting, Brisbane