UCAS: Future of undergraduate admissions (personal statements)

The EPC response to this consultation can be found here.

UCAS has recently shared plans to reform the personal statement to a series of questions. You can read UCAS’ Future of Undergraduate Admissions report here.

It was clear from our recent Recruitment and Admissions Forum that there is a multiplicity of uses of personal statements and views on their reform within the Engineering Academics network. None the less, the EPC Recruitment and Admissions Committee identified a number of areas in relation to engineering HE that they would like UCAS to consider further, including:

  • the practical nature of engineering courses;
  • the typical absence of engineering from the key stage 1 –  5 curriculum;
  • the extent to which engineering applicants apply to other subjects;
  • the extent to which engineering applicant apply across engineering disciplines;
  • the need for grades on entry to include subject information (physics / maths);
  • how grades on entry will be presented to applicants with a mix of qualifications (e.g. BTEC and A level);
  • how new qualifications, such as T levels, will be addressed;
  • the need for greater transparency around contextual offers.

We are currently preparing an executive response to highlight these areas. Do please comment below in response to these or to add others.

We also invite you to engage with a University of Manchester study led by Tom Fryer (who joined UCAS’ Kim Eccleston and others to debate personal statement reform at our Forum in December) to help identify which questions may be the most appropriate. The proposals have shifted from the position that was advocated by UCAS in the EPC debate just before Christmas, so we like to think engineering’s representation at the Forum was effective.

The EPC remains particularly keen to ensure that any engineering specific nuances are understood by UCAS. For example, do personal statements serve a specific purpose for those applying to a subject they have not studied at school for which there are only proxy (predicted) grades and how is this best served? Please highlight any engineering specific feedback in your response(s).

https://www.qualtrics.manchester.ac.uk/jfe/form/SV_2gj0WFGkWcARhum

The survey takes five minutes and is directed at all professionals involved in admissions. If you do not feel you are the right person in your university to complete the survey, please do feel free to forward it.

You can also respond directly to UCAS. The reform is an evolving process, with plans to introduce personal statement questions in 2024 for 2025 entry,

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