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Black students' uni applications more likely to be flagged

UNIVERSITY: Black university hopefuls face greater scrutiny than their white peers, according to new research

BLACK STUDENTS applying to universities in the UK are 21 times more likely to have their applications investigated, a report by the Independent has revealed.

University hopefuls who are black have an increased likelihood of having their applications analysed for false information or omissions than their white peers.

Samuel Babarinde, a prospective black student whose application was selected for extra analysis by Ucas this academic year, told the Independent: “I have been very emotionally distressed by this whole process. I felt I had been singled out.

“It felt like I was already guilty before being found guilty. It was intimidating and frustrating.”

The revelations have come about after data from the Ucas admissions service was analysed.

Ucas said it is “extremely concerned” by the data and that it has launched an investigation into the findings.

The data reveals that the applications of 419 black British undergraduate university candidates were flagged for investigation in September 2017, compared to 181 white British applicants.

The statistics were taken from a pool of data from the last academic year in which there were 42,580 black applicants compared to 388,465 white British applicants.

Ilyas Nagdee, NUS black students officer, said: “I am almost lost for words in being able to understand how something like that has been allowed to take place.

“And how a process – which many people thought of as just being the vehicle to university applications – is also fuelling prejudice.”

External relations director at Ucas, Helen Thorne, said: “I am not aware of any way really that unconscious bias could creep into this. Our fraud and verification team have equality and diversity training as well.”

The admissions service will be conducting their own research to establish the causes behind the disproportionate figures of flagged applications.

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