Identifying medical school applicants from ethnic minorities

McManus, I. C., Maitlis, Sally and Richards, P. (1990) Identifying medical school applicants from ethnic minorities. Studies in Higher Education, 15 (1). pp. 57-73.

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Two studies of applicants to United Kingdom medical schools show that ethnic origins of surnames is reliably assessable by independent judges, and that surnames are valid indicators of ethnic origin as determined by self-classification, showing very high specificity (97%) and slightly lesser sensitivity (84%). Ethnic origin can also be determined from residential information derived from post-codes and place of birth, information in each case being highly specific (99% and 98%) but lacking in sensitivity (25% and 33%). The addition of place of birth and post-code data to surnames provides and increase in overall sensitivity (90%) with no improvement to specificity (94%). A comparison of survey respondents and non-respondents shows that applicants from ethnic minorities are somewhat less likely to respond than non-minority applicants, although the effect is small. Responding applicants from ethnic minorities reply as quickly as non-minority applicants. Our survey confirms the feasibility of direct monitoring of the ethnic origin of applicants by asking applicants to complete a short questionnaire, and of its indirect monitoring by the use of surname. Both UCCA (Universities' Central Council on Admission) and PCAS (Polytechnic Central Admissions System) have announced that they will instigate the ethnic monitoring of applicants for admission in Autumn 1990.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: medical education
Subject(s): Organisational behaviour
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2016 09:29
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2016 09:29
Funders: ECRC, CRE

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