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Harvard sued over race-based affirmative action policies

November 18, 2014, 11:25 UTC+3
According to the lawsuit the university sets higher entrance standards for Asian Americans
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© AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Prestigious Harvard University situated in the American city of Cambridge, Massachusetts faces charges over racial discrimination of enrolles. The lawsuit was filed by Students for Fair Admissions, a group based in Austin, which consists mainly of rejected applicants.

The lawsuit affirms that Harvard “holds Asian Americans to a far higher standard than other students and essentially forces them to compete against each other for admission”. Therefore, white, black and Hispanic are placed at an advantage.

Apart from that the plaintiffs allege that every year Harvard enrolls essentially the same percentage of students of different races to keep "racial balancing." Students for Fair Admissions also consider that this policy limits the number of Asian American students.

Similar cases

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is also facing the same lawsuit. It is noted that while enrolling students "race is a dominant factor in admissions decisions to the detriment of white and Asian-American applicants."

Both Harvard University and the University of North Carolina rejected accusations saying that schools' admissions process meets all legal requirements. Harvard’s representatives reminded a 1978 Supreme Court case in which university’s admissions procedures were called exemplary. It is worth mentioning that Students for Fair Admissions are not the first ones who are trying to stop the so-called positive discrimination in American universities, according to which preference in admission is given to minorities.

In 2008 Abigail Fisher, who is white, was denied admission to the University of Texas. The girl decided that the reason was her race, and began a legal battle that reached the Supreme Court. The final case decision is still not achieved.

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