In recent years these have covered:
- Unconscious Bias Report (2016)
- Review of Supporting Professionalism in Admissions (SPA) (2015)
- International Admissions Review (2014)
- Tariff feedback exercise (2014)
- Admissions Process Review (2012)
- Qualifications Information Review (2012)
Further information is given below.
Unconscious Bias Report (2016)
Unconscious Bias Report
UCAS was asked by the government to consult with the higher education sector about the feasibility of introducing name-blind applications. Read our report of this evidence-gathering exercise on unconscious bias in admissions to higher education Unconscious Bias Report 2016 (1.52 MB).
The report is based on a survey of 120 universities and colleges, focus groups, and discussions with technology providers and with stakeholders in the UK and overseas.
The universities of Exeter, Huddersfield, Liverpool, and Winchester will run name-blind projects to evaluate the benefits for students and the potential for wider implementation. UCAS will coordinate these activities with help from Supporting Professionalism in Admissions (SPA).
The report finds that universities have a high level of awareness of the risks of potential bias in admissions decision-making, and are employing a range of strategies to combat these.
It also recommends evaluating the effectiveness of a name-blind approach alongside better training about unconscious bias and the sharing of good practice. Earlier analysis and data published by UCAS found no evidence of systemic bias in the admissions system.
Review of SPA (Supporting Professionalism in Admissions) (2015)
Review of SPA (Supporting Professionalism in Admissions)
This report details an independent review of the Supporting Professionalism in Admissions programme from 2012 and outlines proposals for the future. The review was considered by the UCAS Board in February, where it was agreed that UCAS would agree to continue funding the SPA programme. The review recognised the importance and value of the independent SPA Steering Group, which will continue its role in shaping and defining SPA’s priorities. SPA will continue to offer the same types of services and support to higher education providers across the breadth of the UK as it does today.
International Admissions Review (2014)
Outcomes of the International Admissions Review (IAR) consultation 2014
Following a period of analysis, research and engagement with the sector, we issued the IAR consultation in April 2014. It received an excellent response from stakeholders across the education sector, with organisations making considered and detailed responses. The International Admissions Review – Findings and Recommendations report provides a detailed summary of the responses received and outlines proposals for implementation.
Recommendations were broadly supported, with some key priorities emerging:
- the capability to upload digital documents
- a review of current UCAS deadlines
- improving information and advice for international and EU applicants
The consultation responses also emphasised the need for us to enhance our services to all applicants, not just international applicants.
Thank you to everyone who responded or participated in the review. We welcome your continued engagement to ensure any proposals are successful for everyone concerned, particularly applicants. Please email us at [email protected] if you have any questions or comments on the outcome of the International Admissions Review, or if you have any suggestions to support the implementation of any of the proposed recommendations.
Tariff feedback exercise (2014)
Outcomes of the new Tariff feedback exercise
On 4 April 2014 we requested feedback on a proposed new Tariff from higher education providers, schools, colleges and a number of other stakeholders. The New Tariff feedback exercise outcomes report provides a detailed summary of the results.
Overall, there was general support for the new Tariff and no substantive technical issues were raised. As a result, the UCAS Board agreed that the new Tariff should be implemented for the 2017 admissions cycle, i.e. for students making applications from September 2016 for full-time courses starting in 2017. The report outlines the high level next steps for implementation of the new Tariff. We will roll out a full implementation and communications plan from September 2014, when we will also publish the new Tariff points for the 2017 admissions cycle.
We would like to thank everyone who participated in the feedback exercise. We welcome your continued engagement to help ensure the implementation is successful for everyone concerned, particularly students. Please email us on [email protected] if you have questions or comments on the outcome of the feedback exercise, or if you have any suggestions to support the implementation of the new Tariff.
Admissions Process Review (2012)
Admissions Process Review
The UCAS Board commissioned a review of the admissions process, which represents the first comprehensive review of an admissions process that has served the higher education sector and applicants well for 50 years since the inception of UCCA in 1961.
Following a sector-wide consultation, on 28 March 2012 we published the Admissions Process Review Findings and Recommendationsreport. We believe that implementing these recommendations will deliver real improvements in the centralised admissions process for entry to UK undergraduate courses of higher education for all users of the system: applicants, those who prepare and advise them, and the institutions that seek to admit students who will derive life-changing benefits from higher education.
A consultation period ran from 31 October 2011 until 20 January 2012 during which we consulted widely across the education sector on the proposals.
Qualifications Information Review (2012)
Qualifications Information Review
Information about qualifications is an important factor in admissions to higher education (HE). The consultation represented a comprehensive review of the qualifications information needs of higher education institutions (HEIs), schools, colleges, advisers and applicants to HE.
Following extensive analysis and engagement, UCAS launched the Qualifications Information Review Consultation in February 2012. This sought views on six recommendations to improve the availability of information about qualifications to HE providers, students, HE funding bodies, regulators and policy makers.
The recommendations made in the consultation were informed by feedback from across the HE sector about the types of information needed about qualifications. The consultation sought feedback on six recommendations which together represented an exciting new shared UCAS qualifications information service for HE, students and their advisers and other stakeholders, with the aim of supporting fairness, transparency and efficiency in HE admissions. The QI Review consultation asked all stakeholders for their views on whether the proposals meet these aims and how they would be affected if they are implemented.
What were the recommendations?
The six recommendations were:
- the development of Qualification Information Profile (QIPs) to give admissions staff the information they need about qualifications
- that HEIs consider the gradual withdrawal of the UCAS Tariff for setting entry requirements and making offers
- the development of a rigorous means of comparing 'demand' across different qualifications
- the development of a simple qualifications metric for management information purposes
- the publication of an annual report on the use of qualifications within HE admissions
- the provision of optional admissions tools for HEIs.
All responses to the consultation were fully analysed and formed the basis of final recommendations for a new system of qualifications information, which were considered by the UCAS Board in June 2012. The recommendations and next steps agreed by the UCAS Board are explained in the consultation report, which was published on 26 July 2012.
The outcomes of the QIR are being implemented in the New Qualifications Information System project.