UCAS responds to Labour’s proposed changes to the higher education admissions system

UCAS responds to Labour’s proposed changes to the higher education admissions system

 

On 14th August, the day before A-Level results day, the Labour Party announced plans to radically reform higher education admissions by scrapping university offers based on predicted grades and implementing a new fairer system of post-qualification admissions (“PQA”).

Clare Marchant, UCAS’ Chief Executive, has responded: "It’s essential that admissions to higher education remain fair, accurate, and a vehicle for social justice. While a post-results admissions service has a natural appeal, the UK-wide consultation UCAS ran in 2012 showed that, if introduced wholesale within the current timetables, it would be likely to significantly disadvantage underrepresented and disabled students, unless secondary and/or university calendars changed.

"Young people need their teachers’ support when making application choices, and this isn’t readily available to all at the scale required when schools and colleges are closed during August. Once students have a place, they need time to find accommodation, finalise their financial support, and to prepare for their studies. Universities and colleges need time for interviews, auditions, and considering contextual information about applicants, and time to put in place support services to help care leavers, first in family, and disabled students, transition into higher education.

"Developing a post-qualifications admissions (PQA) service that works for everyone would require the clear support of students, teachers, qualification awarding bodies, the Student Loans Company, and universities and colleges, as well as a solution to timescale challenges.

According to the UCAS cheif executive around 78% of applicants receive their first choice of university or college, regardless of their background. UCAS also made it clear that predicted grades were just one part of a students application, and that there are many other factors that play a large part such as interveiws and application letters, particularly for the more prestigious universities. 

Thursday, 15 August 2019

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