Universities adopt ‘speed dating’-style interviews

Universities in the UK are scrapping traditional interviews over concerns that they favour applicants from middle-class families and independent schools. 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, writes Julie Henry for The Telegraph.

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 role-plays 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 in 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.
Full report on The Telegraph site