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Asian-Americans vs Harvard

Raymond H. Wong on the recent lawsuit against Harvard University for discrimination against Asian-Americans in the admissions process

By Xie Yi Updated Apr.27

Late last year, Harvard University, one of the US’s most prestigious schools, was sued for discriminating against Asian-American students in their admissions process.  

The plaintiff was Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), a group of Asian-American students led by conservative activist Edward Blum. SFFA accused Harvard of setting a restrictive quota for the number of Asian-American students it accepts, which forced Asian-American applicants to meet higher standards because of their race.  

For many, while the core question of the controversial lawsuit is whether and how race should influence admissions, the case is also seen as a battle over the future of a contentious political issue in higher education: affirmative action.  

Chinese-American groups have been vocal in the fight over race-based school admissions as many of them view an Ivy League education a stepping-stone to higher social status and realization of their American dreams.  

Raymond H. Wong, New York-based lawyer and director of the Asian-American Coalition for Education, sat down with NewsChina to discuss how affirmative action applies to today’s higher education system, the increasing involvement of Chinese-Americans in civil rights action, and what we can do to ensure diversity in universities and equal opportunities in education to students of all colors and backgrounds.