28 March 2012

An effective service for students at peak times should be UCAS top priority

Responding to the recommendations arising from a Review by UCAS (the University Admissions Service), the university think-tank million+ has said that the top priority for UCAS should be to ensure that it delivers an effective service for all applicants and universities at peak times of the year. The Review also rejected proposals to introduce a post-qualifications admissions system. The think-tank has said that the PQA proposals were geared at younger students and did not create equality of opportunity for all bearing in mind that one in three undergraduate students start their studies when they are over twenty-one and many have qualifications other than A-levels.

Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of the university think-tank million+, said: “UCAS’ top priority must be to provide an efficient service for applicants and universities by ensuring that its technology can meet demand at peak times of the year. Although in principle a post-qualifications admissions system would have value, in practice these particular proposals were not well thought through and were primarily geared at full-time younger students even though one in three students now enter university when they are older and less than half have A-levels as pre-entry qualifications. As a result the UCAS proposals did not command the confidence of either schools or universities.

“The limited set of reforms geared at improving the process for applicants will be a more welcome approach at a time when universities and students are having to steer their way through radical changes in the funding system and new student number controls.”

Notes to editors:

  1. million+ is a leading university think-tank, working to solve the complex problems in higher education www.millionplus.ac.uk . For more information please contact Victoria Mills on 0207 7171655 or 07900 277819.
  2. The full UCAS document is available on www.ucas.com/admissionsprocessreview