Today Unlock, in partnership with UPP Foundation, have launched the Fair Chance for Students with Convictions pledge.
The pledge is a commitment on the part of higher education providers to ensure a fair chance for applicants. This includes:
- Asking applicants about criminal records only if – and when – necessary
- Asking targeted and proportionate questions during the admissions process
- Making our policy transparent and accessible to all applicants
- If necessary, offering applicants a chance to discuss their case in person before a decision is made
- Considering flexible adjustments and alternatives for applicants
- Ensuring staff are trained to make fair and impartial judgements about applicants
- Supporting students with criminal records to help them achieve academic success
- Communicating positively about the benefits of a fair admissions process
Eleven are signed up and Unlock hope to encourage more providers to sign up over the coming months. Christopher Stacey, Co-Director at Unlock, said:
We often hear from people with convictions that they feel shut out of higher education, that they won’t be welcomed. The pledge is a clear signal to applicants with convictions that higher education is changing and I hope this encourages more people with convictions to aim high.
The pledge is the result of the 12-month Unlocking students with convictions project. Working in partnership with three universities, the project has also resulted in the Fair Admissions Toolkit, published today.
The toolkit provides practical guidance for higher education providers, case studies of Unlock’s project partners and a checklist on achieving best practice and legal compliance.