Do you think Unis should not be sent name, gender, ethnicity etc?

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JoeClements
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The UCAS form unis are sent when someone applies includes their name, gender, ethnicity, country of birth and school attended. It is possible that implicit bias on the part of the admission tutor could alter the way that they view someone's application, leading to a potentially unfair application process.

There are lots of things to consider here. For example it is possible that such data could cause some tutors to look more favourably upon students from less historically successful schools etc, and so it might not always be that biases lead to people from the normally less marginalised groups having a higher chance of acceptance.

There is also the point of widening access. Maybe the form could just indicate whether or not an applicant qualifies for a widening access scheme should the university offer one, without specifying why in order to avoid biases forming form that information.

There is also the point that gender might become apparent in the statement, if for example an applicant has attended an outreach program aimed only at on gender. However applicants could at least choose whether or not to make their gender known. A similar point could possibly also be made for ethnicity, school etc.

But with university being such an important and impactful step in people's lives, would it not be better if the application process was as fair as possible. Picture a close decision between to applicants for the last spot on a course. Would you not rather all the tutor had to go off was the personal statement, reference and grades, effectively meaning that the student which showed more interest in the subject and possibly performed better gets the spot?

I haven't thought about all of the arguments for both sides of this. I would love to hear anyone's thoughts!
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JoeClements
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The UCAS form unis are sent when someone applies includes their name, gender, ethnicity, country of birth and school attended. It is possible that implicit bias on the part of the admission tutor could alter the way that they view someone's application, leading to a potentially unfair application process.

There are lots of things to consider here. For example it is possible that such data could cause some tutors to look more favourably upon students from less historically successful schools etc, and so it might not always be that biases lead to people from the normally less marginalised groups having a higher chance of acceptance.

There is also the point of widening access. Maybe the form could just indicate whether or not an applicant qualifies for a widening access scheme should the university offer one, without specifying why in order to avoid biases forming form that information.

There is also the point that gender might become apparent in the statement, if for example an applicant has attended an outreach program aimed only at on gender. However applicants could at least choose whether or not to make their gender known. A similar point could possibly also be made for ethnicity, school etc.

But with university being such an important and impactful step in people's lives, would it not be better if the application process was as fair as possible. Picture a close decision between to applicants for the last spot on a course. Would you not rather all the tutor had to go off was the personal statement, reference and grades, effectively meaning that the student which showed more interest in the subject and possibly performed better gets the spot?

I haven't thought about all of the arguments for both sides of this. I would love to hear anyone's thoughts!
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999tigger
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Not sure its worth all the effort.
Data is meant to be anonymised.
All universities are striving to pay more attention to widening access.

Schools that have more success know how to game the system and prepare their candidates better.
The parents can also afford fee paying schools as well promote a child with more confidence and more interesting CV.

I think at the moment unis have bigger fish to fry in just staying open.
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LegsEleven17
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(Original post by JoeClements)
The UCAS form unis are sent when someone applies includes their name, gender, ethnicity, country of birth and school attended. It is possible that implicit bias on the part of the admission tutor could alter the way that they view someone's application, leading to a potentially unfair application process.

There are lots of things to consider here. For example it is possible that such data could cause some tutors to look more favourably upon students from less historically successful schools etc, and so it might not always be that biases lead to people from the normally less marginalised groups having a higher chance of acceptance.

There is also the point of widening access. Maybe the form could just indicate whether or not an applicant qualifies for a widening access scheme should the university offer one, without specifying why in order to avoid biases forming form that information.

There is also the point that gender might become apparent in the statement, if for example an applicant has attended an outreach program aimed only at on gender. However applicants could at least choose whether or not to make their gender known. A similar point could possibly also be made for ethnicity, school etc.

But with university being such an important and impactful step in people's lives, would it not be better if the application process was as fair as possible. Picture a close decision between to applicants for the last spot on a course. Would you not rather all the tutor had to go off was the personal statement, reference and grades, effectively meaning that the student which showed more interest in the subject and possibly performed better gets the spot?

I haven't thought about all of the arguments for both sides of this. I would love to hear anyone's thoughts!
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe universities don't receive any personal details at all. It was after that scandal regarding discrimination over names. So I think it is pretty fair now!
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londonmyst
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I think that name, gender and ethnicity should not be divulged until all offers have been made- with severe penalties for any organisation/individual that is contravening date protection requirements.
But making available: age, nationality, country of birth, estranged student/care status, any relevant disability & medical issues.
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JoeClements
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(Original post by LegsEleven17)
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe universities don't receive any personal details at all. It was after that scandal regarding discrimination over names. So I think it is pretty fair now!
Thank you for pointing this out yes you're right I've just looked it up! Well I have to say I do feel like it is a lot more fair now that they have implemented this
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JoeClements
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(Original post by londonmyst)
I think that name, gender and ethnicity should not be divulged until all offers have been made- with severe penalties for any organisation/individual that is contravening date protection requirements.
But making available: age, nationality, country of birth, estranged student/care status, any relevant disability & medical issues.
Yes interesting I hadn't thought about making the distinction between country of birth/ nationality and ethnicity.
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Second_Beauty
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I don’t think universities get that kind of information until you actually register with them. Of course that is after an offer has been made and accepted by the applicant and they’re already considered a student. Also I’ve attended two different universities, and every time I had to register or complete a form etc. It was optional that you provide information for example: what is your gender ? Male, female, (can’t remember the third) and then “I prefer to not say”. So technically, universities don’t know that information until after a decision has been made. I don’t think UCAS asks for that kind of stuff either.

Any document I complete for university, job application, bank, whatever, I never give my ethnicity and it has never been mandatory that I’d have to.
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JoeClements
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(Original post by Second_Beauty)
I don’t think universities get that kind of information until you actually register with them. Of course that is after an offer has been made and accepted by the applicant and they’re already considered a student. Also I’ve attended two different universities, and every time I had to register or complete a form etc. It was optional that you provide information for example: what is your gender ? Male, female, (can’t remember the third) and then “I prefer to not say”. So technically, universities don’t know that information until after a decision has been made. I don’t think UCAS asks for that kind of stuff either.

Any document I complete for university, job application, bank, whatever, I never give my ethnicity and it has never been mandatory that I’d have to.
Oh right I didn’t know all of that thank you that is interesting
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PQ
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Interviews and sending out information by post would be a bit difficult without applicant names :rolleyes:
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JoeClements
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(Original post by Second_Beauty)
I don’t think universities get that kind of information until you actually register with them. Of course that is after an offer has been made and accepted by the applicant and they’re already considered a student. Also I’ve attended two different universities, and every time I had to register or complete a form etc. It was optional that you provide information for example: what is your gender ? Male, female, (can’t remember the third) and then “I prefer to not say”. So technically, universities don’t know that information until after a decision has been made. I don’t think UCAS asks for that kind of stuff either.

Any document I complete for university, job application, bank, whatever, I never give my ethnicity and it has never been mandatory that I’d have to.
It’s good to know that they get sent that information after the offer has been made
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parmezanne
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another point to note is that it feels intrusive - at least that's how i felt about them knowing my sexuality and religion etc. i was wondering why they needed to know my every detail
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Second_Beauty
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(Original post by JoeClements)
It’s good to know that they get sent that information after the offer has been made
Even then I don’t think it’s mandatory. They’d ask for you to provide as much as possible as part of an equality act (can’t remember it exactly) but not a have to.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by parmezanne)
another point to note is that it feels intrusive - at least that's how i felt about them knowing my sexuality and religion etc. i was wondering why they needed to know my every detail
That's stripped out of the application and used for monitoring bias in the process.

if someone wasn't keeping track of that information you'd never be able to tell if a uni was discriminating or not.
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PQ
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(Original post by parmezanne)
another point to note is that it feels intrusive - at least that's how i felt about them knowing my sexuality and religion etc. i was wondering why they needed to know my every detail
You can always select "prefer not to say" on these questions.
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