In October 2019 Unlock, supported by the UPP Foundation, launched the fair chance pledge. The following institutions have pledged their commitment to offering a fair chance to students with a criminal record.

The pledge

We believe everyone with the potential and ambition to go to university should have the opportunity to do so, regardless of background. People with criminal convictions face obstacles and barriers to accessing university, yet higher education has the power to transform their lives by helping them move forward and make a positive contribution to society. Therefore, as the leaders of our institutions we pledge to give applicants with a criminal record a fair chance by:

  • Asking applicants about criminal records only if – and when – it is necessary
  • Asking targeted and proportionate questions during the admissions process
  • Making our policy transparent and accessible to all applicants
  • If necessary, offering applicants a chance to discuss their case in person before a decision is made
  • Considering flexible adjustments and alternatives for applicants
  • Ensuring staff are trained to make fair and impartial judgements about applicants
  • Supporting students with criminal records to help them achieve academic success
  • Communicating positively about the benefits of a fair admissions process



Learn more about making admissions fair in the Fair Admissions Toolkit

To sign up to the pledge, please contact

The pledge and toolkit are both part of our work on improving access to higher education and our Unlocking students with conviction project.

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