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Changes to university application process scrapped

Published: Wednesday, 28 March 2012   Category: All Graduate Jobs News | All Graduate job news

Plans to change the application process for university courses have been abandoned, after they were called into question by Higher Education institutions and schools.

The proposals to alter the application process after students have received A’level results were criticised by UCAS as they contained "insurmountable difficulties."

The scheme’s potential stumbling blocks included the fact that it didn’t make provision for variations in exam dates and term times throughout the UK.

Although the post-results system (PQA) was a ‘logical and desirable goal’, Ucas argued that "well-articulated concerns from schools, colleges and the higher education sector about the practicalities of implementation and the practical risks such a system could hold for significant groups of applicants" were of concern.

The UCAS review also pointed to the fact that that PQA may have a negative impact on teaching and learning, and that schools and colleges would need to implement "radical" changes to the structure of their working day.

Last October, UCAS also announced the most significant overhaul of the university application system for 50 years. This will include university offers that aren’t restricted by predicted A-Level results. It will also see A-Level exams sat at an earlier date, and students having the option to put in their UCAS applications during the summer break.

Mary Curnock Cook, UCAS Chief Executive, said: "The Clearing process was originally designed as an informal route to pair unplaced applicants with unfilled places. Today it needs to cater for over 50,000 applicants who want access to a process which is fair and transparent. By confirming the status of all conditional and insurance offers before the final application window opens, applicants can be sure of having fair access to any remaining places.

"This change will increase applicant choice and offer an additional recruitment opportunity for higher education institutions to fill places late in the cycle."

Research from UCAS showed that just 10%, on average, of predictions for all three A-level results proved to be correct.

Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said the Ucas proposal won’t give institutions time to give "fair, thorough and holistic assessments of candidates."

"The main losers would be prospective students and, in particular, those from disadvantaged backgrounds, who benefit from special access schemes, summer schools and other outreach activity," she added.

Do you think that changes to the UCAS system will provide a fairer system for students? Would an application based on your actual grades improve your chances of obtaining a graduate job?


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