A photograph of 14 black male students posing outside Cambridge University in a bid to encourage future applicants has been shared more than 2,000 times on Facebook.
Cambridge University African-Caribbean Society shared the image of the students grouped outside the renowned University to encourage and inspire other black students who have their sights set on an Oxbridge education.
“In 2015, only 15 black, male undergraduates were accepted into Cambridge,” the post explains.
“However, it is important that despite their under representation, we let young black people know that this is something that they can aspire to.”
“Representation matters,” the post concludes, alongside the hashtag #BlackMenofCambridge.
Dami Adebayo, a student at Robinson College who is pictured in the post, added:
“Young black men don’t grow up thinking they’ll make it here. They should”
The post was inspired by a similar viral image of young black men from Yale University, which was shared thousands of times on Twitter last month.
Folajimi Babasola, 20, who is studying engineering, told the BBC that he posed for the photograph in a bid to challenge the stereotype of a Cambridge student.
He said: “The aim of the picture was really to encourage more black students to apply here because many people get discouraged by a particular image or stereotype of a Cambridge student that they have in their mind, thinking that they won’t fit in or be accepted.”
19-year-old politics and anthropology student, told Buzzfeed: “The emphasis on the pictures should be placed on the caption and not a criticism of the university because this overlooks the hard work and efforts of the access officers, schools liaison officers and other initiatives the university has put in place to tackle this issue.”
“Complacency is not the answer but the focus of these pictures is to inspire and encourage applications not to deter young black males from applying given the shocking statistics otherwise it creates a vicious cycle.”
Last year Cambridge University became a member of the Race Equality Charter, which aims to identify and self-reflect on institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of minority ethnic staff and students.