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When a lottery is the right way to share, select, decide


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from 2003 15 Sept “Universities to pick students by lottery”

Posted by kleroterion on Sunday, 20 December 2009

Jon Fuller, director of admissions at Queen Mary College, University of London, explaining why he selects students with the help of a lottery.  

From: Conall Boyle [mailto:conallboyle@hotmail.com] Sent: 15 September 2003 13:32 To: brian_martin@uow.edu.au; hey.wainy@virgin.net; lync@bullwinkle.econ.usyd.edu.au; pjd.drenth@psy.vu.nl; pvjones@friends-classics.demon.co.uk; julian@mostly.com; b.goodwin@uea.ac.uk

Subject: Headline in The Times

(After a long silence) Hi there Kleroterions!

 “Universities to pick students by lottery” was the *main* headline in The Times (London) on 6th September last.

This was followed by an article (link below) in the Sunday Times, 14th Sept, by Jon Fuller, director of admissions at Queen Mary College, University of London, explaining why he selects students with the help of a lottery. [original article reproduced at: http://www.conallboyle.com/lottery/36QMC_L_entry_Fuller.pdf ]

Conall Boyle (I have retired from UCE and now live in (old) South Wales at Margam , West Glamorgan. I have not given up yet: I’m pursuing research into the economics of lottery allocation at Swansea University)

[I had some correspondence with the author: To: J.H.fuller@qmul.ac.uk Sent: Friday, September 12, 2003 10:42 AM

Subject: selecting students randomly

Dear Jon Fuller, As per our phone call I attach my *short* questionnaire. I would be most grateful if you could administer it to your 40 students next week. [he didn’t]

There is plenty of evidence from Holland that randomly selected students perform just as well as the ones scrutinised by interview – indeed some medical schools there are extending random selection, with the support of students unions, but not government ministers.

 Many thanks for your help  Conall Boyle, 

 My Website: http://www.turn.to/fairlot also gives some references to use of lotteries for selection including my paper to the Statistical Society in 1998.

His reply: 

From:J.H.Fuller@qmul.ac.uk Sent: 12 September 2003 12:38:39 To: Conall Boyle (conallboyle@hotmail.com

I would be intersted to see the evidence, I understand that the drop out rate is higher, is this connected with random selection?

Dr Jon Fuller Head of Graduate Entry Programme Room 1.28 Robin Brook Centre St Bartholomew’s Hospital West Smithfield London EC1A 7BE


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