Universities are scrapping traditional interviews over concerns that they favour applicants from middle class families and independent schools. Instead they are looking at ‘speed dating’ style processes. This is from the Telegraph…
The move follows claims that the usual format, where candidates are questioned by a panel of academics, could give an advantage to confident and articulate pupils who have been coached in how to respond.
Instead, interviews are being replaced by a “speed dating” style process where each candidate undergoes a series of brief one-on-one “mini-interviews”, solving problems and taking part in roleplays rather than answering general questions about themselves.
The new assessments are seen as fairer because they reward innate skills, such as empathy, rather than eloquence.
It comes as universities face increasing pressure from the Government to broaden their intake and admit more students from poorer families and state schools.
Sixth formers applying this month to study medicine, dentistry or veterinary science at at least five institutions around the UK will undergo the new speed dating style assessments.
The technique, called multiple mini interview (MMI), was developed in universities in Canada and has been researched extensively.
Students spend five minutes with each assessor, a buzzer sounds, or a recorded voice tells them to move on to the next station.
Each interviewer scores the applicant independently and is unaware of how the student has performed at other stations.
At each station, students take part in a role play or are given a scenario in which they must think on their feet and demonstrate important skills.
Institutions which have adopted the new technique include St George’s Medical School, London; Queen’s University, Belfast; Dundee University medical school; Cardiff University school of dentistry; and the Royal Veterinary College, London.