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 6 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

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Retired academics calculating moves while playing bowls

Lincoln Allison, Eric Thomas and Richard Larschan reflect on the ‘next phase’ of the scholarly life