University applications to be anonymous from 2017


Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that university application forms will not have candidates’ names on them from 2017, in a plan to prevent unconscious bias against applicants from minority groups.

The new scheme, to be launched by UCAS in 2017, will replace candidates’ names on forms with a code, resulting in universities only being able to judge applicants based on merit alone.

However, educational backgrounds will remain on their applications, as the university admissions body considered it an essential piece of information when deciding whether a candidate deserves a place at their university.

Mr Cameron, writing in the Guardian, said: “Britain has come so far, but the long march to an equal society isn’t over. Today’s announcement is not the only thing we can do, but it’s a milestone.

Other measures announced include a pledge by leading graduate employers to name-bind recruitment. Deloitte recently changed its selection process to prevent recruiters from knowing which school or university a candidate went to, in an attempt to ensure a diverse talent pool and remove reflecting society’s make-up.

An analysis of the 2014 admissions cycle by UCAS found that entry rates to university for 18 year olds from minority groups outstripped rates for white teenagers. The document suggested that 38.7 per cent of Asians and 34.3 per cent of black teenagers entered university in 2014, whilst only 27.2 per cent of white 18 year olds went.