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    Harvard factors in race during admissions and Apple, Google, Microsoft and many US companies like it

    Harvard factors in race during admissions and Apple, Google, Microsoft and many US companies like it

    Harvard factors in race during admissions and Apple, Google, Microsoft and many US companies like it
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    Dozens of US companies including Google, Microsoft, and Apple have backed Harvard University and the University of North Carolina's affirmative action, which allows them to consider the race of applicants as one of the factors for college admissions.

    Top US colleges — Harvard University and the University of North Carolina — have been facing lawsuits over their affirmative action, which allows them to consider the race of applicants as one of the factors for undergraduate admissions.
    However, more than 60 US companies, including Apple, Microsoft, General Electric, and Starbucks, have backed the move as the Supreme Court, in its next term, is slated to hear separate cases challenging admissions practices.
    According to local reports, the firms have asked the apex court to affirm the use of racial preferences in college admissions as it leads to more diversity on campuses, which in turn contributes to commercial innovation and business success.
    They submitted a friend-of-the-court brief saying that empirical studies confirm that diverse groups make better decisions thanks to increased creativity, sharing of ideas, and accuracy. “These benefits are not simply intangible; they translate into businesses’ bottom lines,” the note added.
    According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the brief cited reports published by journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Corporate Governance, and the Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting.
    Meanwhile, Asian Americans Advancing Justice — AAJC, which represents Asian students supporting Harvard’s case — argued that if universities do not consider race, it would "hinder their ability to achieve educational benefits of diversity and harm communities of colour and undo the progress that has been hard fought and won, and impede progress where it still is needed,” The Guardian reported.
    The development comes as a group backed by former stockbroker Edward Blum, Students for Fair Admissions, has filed a lawsuits against Harvard and UNC alleging that their consideration of race violates constitutional equal-protection provisions.
    The group has alleged that Harvard and the University of North Carolina’s admissions policies provide unfair advantages to Black, Hispanic and Native American applicants over their white and Asian American counterparts.
    The universities, however, say they consider applicants individually and race is only one among many factors they consider to admit students.
    This is not the first time that the issue has come before the Supreme Court. Affirmative action in admissions has returned repeatedly to court since 1978 when in the case of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, the court found a compelling government interest in promoting racial diversity and allowed consideration of race so long as it wasn’t through a rigid quota or hard numerical benefit, the WSJ report said.

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