(THE TIMES) — More than half of students submitting fraudulent applications for degree courses are black, the university admissions body said yesterday.
Black candidates make up 52 per cent of all applications flagged despite comprising only 9 per cent of applicants, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) said. The figures triggered a race row with politicians and student leaders who said UCAS should offer a better explanation for the findings. Applications can be considered fraudulent for several reasons, including plagiarism of the personal statement, falsifying exam results, sending false documents, using fake identities, or making multiple applications at once.
UCAS defended its systems from accusations of bias, saying the software that flagged questionable applications did not see the candidate’s ethnicity, and neither did university staff who raised queries. It said the proportion of flagged, or suspicious, applications from black students turned out to be almost identical to the proportion later confirmed as fraudulent. It analysed three million applications from British candidates over the past five years.
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