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Social mobility in universities can only be improved by radical overhaul of admissions system, says UCU

10 October 2016

Efforts to improve social mobility require a radical overhaul of the universities admission service, said UCU today.

Responding to a report from the Social Mobility Advisory Group the union said it was disappointed the group had stopped short of recommending a system where students apply to university after they have received their results.

UCU says such a system would simplify the process for students, make universities more accountable for their decisions and deliver a fairer system. Around half (48.6%) the respondents to a recent UCU survey of admissions staff disagreed that students understand how their university application would be assessed.

The same survey also showed strong support for a move to post-qualification admissions and highlighted the high number of grades currently being wrongly predicted by schools.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'We welcome any work that directly addresses the need to improve social mobility and access in UK higher education, but it is disappointing that the group has not looked at the obvious need for a radical overhaul of the admission system as the best way to deliver a fairer system of applying to university.

'Staff are committed to improving social mobility in universities but research has shown that many are unconvinced students fully understand the current application process. Applying after they get their results would ensure students can accurately make the most of their potential. It would also remove the pressure from schools to overestimate students' marks in an effort to ensure they do not miss out.'





Last updated: 10 October 2016