University of Bristol Admissions Controversy - Boycott


Accusations of bias were first made in 2002 when the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference stated that the admissions procedures for Bristol, Durham, London School of Economics, Manchester, UCL and Edinburgh should be examined for bias.

The boycott of the University was announced on 4 March 2003 by the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and the Girls' Schools Association who expressed concern that the admissions policy could lead to the "apparently arbitrary rejection of well-qualified candidates".

In a joint statement they said:

In these circumstances, we must send a clear message to Bristol. We cannot recommend to our colleagues that they should encourage young people to apply to Bristol until such time as the university can assure us that its procedures are fully documented, fair, objective, transparent and consistently applied.

However as it is students who decide which Universities to apply to it was not possible for private schools to prevent their students from applying to Bristol. The "boycott" amounted to schools discouraging sixth formers from applying to Bristol. The Telegraph described an academic boycott of this kind as "unprecedented". Among the rejected candidates cited as evidence of bias was Rudi Singh a student at King Edward's School. Singh was rejected from Bristol yet accepted to the University of Cambridge. Four students with 10A*s at GCSE and 4 As at A-level were rejected. Two had attended Bedford School. One student, Mark Smith, gained 9 A*s at GCSE and was predicted 3 As at A-level yet had his application rejected. Sushila Phillips, a student at Westminster School, was rejected from Bristol despite gaining a mark of 296 out of 300 in AS level English. Phillips later stated that she did not believe that she had been rejected because she attended Westminster School and that it was important that Bristol had control over its admissions system.

Read more about this topic:  University Of Bristol Admissions Controversy

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