Sensing bias

November 19, 2015

We hear that David Cameron has asked Ucas to make university applications “name-blind” to avoid bias against black students (“On improving diversity, the sector has a clear choice: lead or be led”, Leader, 5 November). Some institutions also interview students, and this gives other opportunities for bias. Therefore, to “blind” the interviewer, we suggest the following rules are needed:

  • The student’s skin should be covered by suitable clothes and gloves, and a paper bag should be placed over their head. Ideally, the interviewer should also be “bagged up”
  • To avoid any accent being detected, the interview should be conducted in silence using Morse code. The choice of lamps or flags should be left to the student
  • Any odours betraying national culinary habits should be disguised by both parties eating a meal of garlic soup and Madras curry before the interview
  • Students should not be touched
  • It is assumed that the tasting of students is ruled out by existing conventions (we hope).

Ben Atkinson
Hertfordshire


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com

Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday. View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Worried man wiping forehead
Two academics explain how to beat some of the typical anxieties associated with a doctoral degree

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

John McEnroe arguing with umpire. Tennis

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman explain how to negotiate your annual performance and development review

Man throwing axes

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'

looking through a gap

University appeals ICO notice to publish report on refusal to take part in league tables