In a report published today, UCAS recommends far-reaching reforms of the admissions process for entry to full-time undergraduate Higher Education. The report, which is subject to agreement by sector bodies, recommends:
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."
Proposals to move to a full post-results admissions process are not being taken forward.
"Although many respondents to our consultation felt instinctively that a post-results process should be fairer, we heard many well-articulated concerns from schools, colleges and the higher education sector about the practicalities of implementation and the potential disadvantages for significant groups of applicants," said Mary Curnock Cook. "However, the challenge remains to secure more accountability and accuracy of predicted grades."
Over 450 written responses from the secondary and higher education sectors, and 11,000 applicant surveys were analysed. Recurrent themes included the need for more information, advice and guidance for some groups of applicants, and the need for reliable contextual data to support widening participation initiatives.
The full details are published today (Wednesday 28 March 2012) at www.ucas.com/admissionsprocessreview.