The change comes after two years of working with charities – including the Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET), the Longford Trust, and Unlock – to better understand the progression routes of applicants applying from prison, or with a criminal conviction.
Ben Jordan, Senior Policy and Qualifications Manager, said: ‘UCAS is committed to ensuring that anyone who wants to study at university or college has the opportunity to apply, and isn’t put off by questions on the application.
'We’ll be making changes to the information we collect from applicants about unspent criminal convictions for the 2019 entry cycle. In previous years, everyone was asked to disclose whether they had any unspent, relevant criminal convictions. However, this has now been removed, and we hope this reaffirms that higher education is open to everyone.’
Until now, UCAS asked applicants to respond to two questions regarding criminal convictions:
- The first question asked applicants to declare whether they have any relevant unspent criminal convictions – this has now been removed.
- The second question asks applicants who are applying to courses leading to certain professions, or occupations exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974), to declare whether they have any criminal convictions, including spent convictions that are not filtered. This is a mandatory question, and remains in place for applications to these courses.
These changes also ensure we meet the requirements of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
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