Reform and constant improvement are in UCAS’ DNA.

Over the years, UCAS has evolved the admissions service to better serve applicants and broaden participation, including the introduction of Clearing Plus in 2020, the release of a new application experience integrating UCAS Apply and UCAS Track in 2021, and the launch of seven new widening participation questions in the application in 2022. 

We have introduced a non-binary option into the UCAS application for students applying for 2024 entry and are continuing to collaborate with experts and colleagues across the sector to understand how we can further improve the application to create a more inclusive application experience for everyone.

For 2024 entry, following extensive consultation with advisers and providers about the reference process, we have also replaced the free text approach in the reference, with three structured sections to help advisers focus their references on the areas universities and colleges want to know about.

As identified in The Future of Undergraduate Admissions report, one of our next areas of focus is the personal statement. We will be introducing a guided narrative through a series of free text questions which will bring focus and clarity for students and support comparability for providers. Following feedback from across the sector about timeframes and readiness, we aim to deliver this change for the 2026 entry cycle. More information can be found in the FAQs below.

The Future of Undergraduate Admissions (2023)

Building on the findings of Reimagining UK Admissions, we have continued our engagement with the sector on reforming and improving admissions, recognising that while the Department for Education opted not to progress post-qualification admissions at this time, the consultation revealed appetite for alternative approaches to innovation.

The Future of Undergraduate Admissions report highlights UCAS' continued engagement and ongoing progress with admission reform, including:

  • references
  • personal statements
  • grades on entry
  • personalisation 
  • widening access and participation 

Read the report here  (3.38 MB)

If you have any questions, comments or thoughts regarding potential reforms which you’d like to share with us, please email

UCAS' Reimagining UK Admissions report (2021)

We welcomed the Department for Education’s 2021 consultation on UK HE admissions and the opportunity to focus on improving outcomes for students.

During the consultation period, we gathered feedback and insights from nearly 15,000 students, universities, colleges, and conservatoires; over 700 teachers and their representative bodies; and sector stakeholders, to create our Reimagining UK Admissions report.

Read the full report and press release:

More on the personal statement