Harvard discriminates against the students of asian origin ? The process of admission to the most prestigious american university is at the heart of a trial that opened on Monday 15 October, in Boston, with through the viewfinder the policy of “positive discrimination” of american universities denounced by the conservatives, favouring the entry to university of students from ethnic minorities. The debates are open to the federal court in Boston before judge Allison Dale Burroughs to a trial without a jury, supposed to last about three weeks.

on one side, the oldest university of the United States, which denies any discrimination antiasiatique but claims broader criteria than academic excellence, including criteria of personality, in the name of maintaining “diversity” of its campus. Harvard also argues that the proportion of students in asian americans has increased substantially since 2010, to represent today nearly 23 % of the approximately 2, 000 students admitted in first year, compared to 15 % of Blacks and 12 % Hispanics, about 40 000 candidates.

on the other, an organization called “Students for fair admissions” (” students for admissions to the righteous “), led by the activist conservative white Edward Blum, who has already sued the policy of” positive action ” of the university of Massachusetts. The u.s. supreme Court gave him wrong in 2016, endorsing the policy of the university.

“The wolf of racial discrimination”

on Monday, his lawyer Adam Mortara argued that the criteria of personality, Harvard had the effect of eliminating number of students of asian origin, for the benefit of Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites. Harvard has ” left the wolf of racial discrimination enter by the big door “, said in the opening of the trial Mr. Mortara, quoted by the Boston Globe. But according to the lawyer of the university, Bill Lee, Harvard university could not achieve its educational goals without the inclusion of the ethnic origins in its reflection, even if ” the race is never negative “, he assured.

The administration Trump has lent his support to the end of the month of August to the complaint of Mr. Blum, claiming that the admission process of Harvard “worked to the disadvantage of significantly” the students of asian origin.

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The world famous university of Cambridge, in Massachusetts, had been assigned in justice in 2014 by Students for fair admissions to its preferences granted to the candidates of first year white, black and hispanic, at the expense of asian students more deserving. In June, the association had added to his assignment documents indicating that researchers from Harvard have analyzed the policy for admissions in 2013, highlighting a policy unfavourable to candidates of asian origin, academic results, on average, higher than those of other ethnic groups. The study had shown that, because of this policy, they accounted for only 19 % of the students admitted, so they would be 26 % on all admission criteria non-racial and 43 % only on the criteria academic.

regardless of the outcome of the trial, everyone expects that this debate is extra-sensitive about the influence of race in admissions to university, that opposes for years, conservatives and democrats, go back up to the supreme Court. This would test the new conservative majority is obtained with the recent arrival of judge Brett Kavanaugh in the highest court in the us.