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UCU response to prime minister's call for 'name-blind' university applications

26 October 2015

UCU today welcomed proposals from the prime minister for a name-blind university applications process. The new system would remove students' names from their applications in an effort to tackle unconscious bias against students from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

The union said university applications needed a complete overhaul and that as well as the prime minister's name-blind plans, students should apply to university after they receive their exam results. A report from UCU earlier this year [607kb] revealed that seven in 10 staff involved with university applications backed a system which relied on actual achievement, rather than predicted results.

The union said an overhaul of the system would address the problem of inaccurate predicted grades and abolish the need for unconditional offers for university places, which are under increasing scrutiny.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'We welcome plans to allow students to apply to university without having to give their name. This should remove any unconscious bias and help level the playing field for university applicants.

'We believe the time has come for a radical overhaul of how students apply to university. Allowing students to apply after they get their results would ensure they can accurately make the most of their potential. It would also remove the pressure from schools to overestimate students' marks in an effort to ensure they do not miss out.'

Last updated: 10 December 2015