The Department for Education has launched a consultation on undergraduate
admissions, following the commitment from the government to level up the university admissions system. It denounces the current system as complex, lacking transparency, working against the interests of some students, and encouraging undesirable admissions practices (read unconditional offers).
This follows proposals by the Office for Students, UCAS and UUK last summer
. The DfE, consultation is aimed principally at when students receive and accept university offers (not the wider assessment, admission or policy agendas) while claiming to preserve university and UCAS autonomy.
The consultation presents two options, both of which are predicated on exam results, not predictions. The first, "post-qualification applications and offers" resembles Direct Clearing as we know it. It creates a longer application window by moving results dates (not exams) forward to the end of July and higher education term dates back to the first week of October (by compressing the exam timetable, the marking period and the requirement for UCAS to receive results data well in advance of results day).
The second, "Pre-qualification applications with post-qualification offers and decisions" would mean applications being made during term-time as now but offers being made after results day.
DfE’s consultation closes on 13 May 2021. The EPC is running a full member consultation from 22nd March to 9th April to seek your views on the specific impact on engineering. For example, what might be operationally unworkable or conceivably undesirable for engineering? Or how could entrance assessments and/or interviews sometimes used in engineering be accommodated?
We feel it is important to critique the two models proposed separately in an engineering context. The full list of questions we are asking to inform the EPC response are attached. We do not intend to introduce the long and involved wider arguments in detail in order to make our collective engineering voice more focused and more valuable.