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

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry

But the highest value UK spin-off companies mainly come from research-intensive universities, latest figures show