Coronavirus update

We’re closely monitoring the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), to ensure we do all we can to help students with their applications.

Ofqual (the examinations regulator) has now shared further details on how grades will be calculated for A levels, Extended Project Qualifications (EPQ), Advanced Extension Awards (AEA) in maths, and GCSEs.

The process outlined will ensure a set of fair and justifiable examination results are awarded for everyone affected by the examination and assessment cancellations. The announcement from Ofqual provides further information as to how and when students’ grades will be awarded to them by their examining body. What is important to note is that the grades awarded will be regulated and should be treated in the same way as in previous years.

Clare Marchant, UCAS’ Chief Executive, said: ‘It’s essential for their future education and careers that students receive a set of fair and justifiable examination results. The processes outlined by Ofqual today will do exactly that.

‘The best available evidence in the extraordinary circumstances we are all in will be used to calculate regulated grades that will stay with students for years to come.

‘For those applying to higher education, we expect them to be treated fairly and consistently, and universities and colleges to consider these grades in the same way as any qualifications from previous years.’

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The Scottish Qualifications Authority has provided an important update regarding the awarding of qualifications for 2020.

This includes the process on how estimated grades will be determined.

SQA is in regular discussions with UCAS, Colleges Scotland, and Universities Scotland, to help students progress on to the next stage of their education or employment.

SQA has said they are working to ensure students receive their grades no later than 4 August 2020. UCAS expects these qualifications to be treated the same as any other grade issued in any other year, and for the normal Confirmation and Clearing process to run broadly the same as it did last year.

2020 cycle decision-making

UCAS Undergraduate

On 23 March, the Government asked providers in England to stop making unconditional offers or amending existing offers to students for two weeks.

To give everyone more time to gain clarity on the new processes for awarding qualifications and to give students more time to consider their options, we have extended the upcoming May undergraduate offer deadlines for universities and students by two weeks. Once we have finalised the new date this will be communicated to UCAS correspondents, advisers, and affected applicants this week.

We are still informing advisers and applicants that we expect the admissions cycle to run broadly similar to previous years, and there will be flexibility for applicants to make choices throughout the rest of the year, including a Confirmation and Clearing process over the summer.

UCAS Teacher Training

We have taken the decision to put the rolling UCAS Teacher Training and DfE Apply for Teacher Training decision-making deadlines on hold for four weeks from 20 March. This will mean all RBDs and DBDs will be paused until 20 April at the earliest, preventing offers from being automatically declined, or applications being automatically rejected.

Updated on 17 March 2020

Impact on UCAS events  

We have taken the decision to postpone  all UCAS higher education exhibitions until 31 July.

The UCAS Media employer breakfast event on Monday 23 March has also been postponed.  

The Admissions Conference on 27-28 April and the International Teachers’ and Advisers’ Conference on 4-5 June have been cancelled.

These decisions have been made to protect the health and wellbeing of those attending, and we are currently working to notify all those affected. 

Impact on international qualifications   

We’re aware of changes to arrangements due to COVID-19 for a number of English language tests: 

Assessment arrangements and availability of results for international qualifications may also be subject to change.

More information can be found on the websites of the international awarding bodies below:

As stated in the Admissions Guide, applicants have until 31 August to meet the academic conditions of their offers. Therefore, possible delays to publication of exam results until then should not impact their places being confirmed. If necessary, we’ll consider extending this date, in consultation with providers. 

UCAS remains committed to supporting our colleagues across higher education

We’ve launched a new engagement package for higher education providers, to support the sector with recruitment. The package will help you build and establish connections, and will complement the outreach and marketing you’re already doing.

Find out more about the engagement package.

We’ll continue to update information on, including: 

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