UCAS update on unconscious bias in admissions

 

UCAS has released a couple of reports exploring unconscious bias over the last two years. Their first in 2016 came up with a number of recommendations – from unconscious bias training for those in admissions, to monitoring admissions data and addressing any unexplained differences in offer-making or outcomes.

But top of the list, was to run ‘name-blind admissions decision-making projects at a local level’.

And in the recent update published by UCAS, it revealed that following a trial of six English universities to run pilots to test a ‘name-blind application’ process in the 2017 entry cycle, none produced conclusive evidence to suggest that masking names led to significantly different admissions outcomes. In fact, in two of the projects, the universities found that masking applicants’ names appeared instead to have a negative impact on initial admissions outcomes.

Helen Thorne, External Relations Director, for UCAS said: "Universities and colleges are committed to ensuring that admissions processes are fair and transparent for all students, and employ a range of robust strategies and policies to achieve this. Minimising the risks of unconscious bias is an important part of this, and it’s encouraging that over 110 universities have used training and good practice resources in the last year."

For more information on the recommendations and outcomes, please see https://www.ucas.com/file/134776/download?token=walRMssi

 

Thursday, 23 November 2017

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UCAS update on unconscious bias in admissions