Post-qualifications applications: how we can make it work

The government announced in early 2021 that it was undertaking a review of the higher education (HE) admission system in England.

This report written for UCU by Professor Graeme Atherton argues that it is possible to deliver a post-qualifications applications model that can support better choice making for students from all backgrounds, minimise  additional burdens on school/college staff and maintain the ability of higher education institutions (HEIs) to admit students who fit their courses

The student-centred (SC) model provides a practical road map for the implementation of post-qualifications applications. It shows that it is possible to remove reliance on predicted grades whilst improving the ability of students to make choices and enabling HEIs to support their entry into HE.

For too long the popular opinion has been that post-qualifications applications is desirable but impractical thus it has been placed in the 'too hard to tackle' pile. This paper illustrates that with the necessary political commitment, investment, time and  innovation it is possible to introduce a PQA system and give students the power to fully control their journey into HE.