The university denied the allegations and said it was ready to defend itself in court, Reuters reported.
The lawsuit is a sharpening of the steps taken by the Trump administration against measures taken by leading American universities to secure an ethnically and ethnically diverse academic community, Reuters writes. The Department of Justice claims that Americans with Asian roots and whites at Yale University have up to a quarter less chance of being accepted than equally qualified black applicants.
According to the government, the school is in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits institutions receiving federal contributions from discriminating against anyone on the basis of race, color, or national origin. At the same time, Yale University receives 630 million dollars (almost 14.5 billion crowns) a year from the Federal Ministry of Health alone.
Applicants should be “judged by their character, skills and achievements, not by skin color,” said Eric Dreidband of the Department of Justice. “If we did otherwise, we would allow institutions to reinforce stereotypes, hatred and disunity,” he added. Thursday’s lawsuit is the result of a two-year investigation by the Ministry of Justice.
“Yale does not discriminate against applicants of any race or ethnicity,” said institution president Peter Salovey. Therefore, according to him, the university will not change its rules for admitting students on the basis of a lawsuit filed by the ministry, which he described as unfounded. “We look forward to defending our policies in court,” he added.
Yale University is one of the most prestigious American and world educational institutions. It has over 6,000 undergraduate students, with only about six percent of all applicants successfully passing the admission process each year.
Thursday’s lawsuit is part of a long-running dispute between opponents of positive discrimination and advocates that the ethnic and racial composition of students at American universities should match the structure of society as a whole in the United States.
Last year, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit by a group representing students of Asian descent who, with the support of the US government, complained of discriminatory treatment at Harvard. Although the judge did not prohibit the institution from requiring applicants to fill in a box regarding their racial origin on their study applications, she described this procedure as imperfect and worthy of improvement.
However, the authors of the complaint appealed against the verdict, and the case continues. According to many observers, the issue is likely to reach the Supreme Court over time.