UCAS make £12 MILLION a year selling your details

As if results day wasn’t hard enough

Your details are being sold by UCAS to companies who target you with adverts.

While they handle university applications, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service also have a commercial arm – which makes £12 million a year.

They flog your personal details to drink and mobile phone companies.

A fresh row has erupted after UCAS refused to release data on students from poorer backgrounds. Critics have said they are blocking social mobility.

Boys at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School pupils Seb Dickson, Joe Wareham, James Felton leap with joy as they recieve their A Level results, August 14 2014. The photo was taken in parody to the annual girls leap with A level results that appears in many newspapers.

Boys at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School pupils Seb Dickson, Joe Wareham, James Felton leap with joy as they receive their A Level results. 

Former Health Secretary Mr Milburn, chairman of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, told The Independent: “Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are severely under-represented at our top universities. Thousands of poorer students have the grades to get in but miss out on getting places.

“This is a national scandal, but we cannot take effective action to improve the situation without proper data. It is vital we understand what drives the social class gaps in admissions and how effective different policies are in reducing them.”

He added that by withholding the data, universities don’t know the ethical and social background of applicants – making it harder for students from poorer houses to have equal access.

UCAS insists it does not sell personal details. Vodafone, O2 and Microsoft are among the companies reported to have paid the admissions body for your details, according to The Guardian.

At one point, Red Bull promoted new energy drinks to 17,500 students hoping it would be shared on social media.

Mary Curnock Cook, chief executive of UCAS, said: “UCAS is committed to using its data proactively to support widening participation and fair access. It is clear that the tide is turning and organisations that rely on the trusted engagement of their customers must tread cautiously.

“We put the confidentiality of applicants’ personal details at the heart of our service and respect their wishes in providing access to data.”

 

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