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Universities UK response to Prime Minister’s proposals on ‘name-blind’ applications

Number 10 Downing Street

Universities UK responded to proposals outlined today by the Prime Minister to introduce ‘name-blind’ university applications. The plans are aimed at tackling possible ‘unconscious bias’ against students from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, by removing candidates’ names from their applications. The proposals will be subject to a consultation with the university sector.

Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, said: “Going to university has the potential to transform lives. It is therefore essential to ensure that all students with the potential to benefit from higher education can gain access to, and thrive at university.
“There has been considerable progress in recent years, with record numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds entering higher education. The number of ethnic minority students enrolled in UK universities has also increased by 18% over the past five years. We recognise, however, there is still work to do in this area.

“Universities UK will respond to the consultation which accompanies the Prime Minister’s proposals. Our priority will be to ensure that the applications system remains fair and effective for all applicant groups.”


1. A recent Analysis Note from UCAS – which looked at offer-rates to ethnic groups from higher tariff universities – found no systemic bias in admissions against ethnic minorities. Offer rates to black and minority ethnic groups were found to be close to the expected offer rates for all applicants. UCAS analysis shows also that entry rates to higher education for young students from Black and ethnic minority groups have increased since 2006.  The entry rate for English 18 year old state school students recorded in the Black ethnic group has increased from 20.9 per cent in 2006 to 34.3 per cent in 2014, a proportional increase of 64 per cent.

Key Contacts

Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Media Relations Manager
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK


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