UCU comment on HEPI Brightside report on widening access to higher education

10 May 2018 | last updated: 16 May 2018

A move to post-qualification admissions (PQA) would help level the playing field for students applying to higher education, the UCU said today.

The union was commenting on a new report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and the think tank Brightside, which sets out a number of recommendations for the new director of fair access and participation. Proposals include reopening the debate on PQA, curbing the use of unconditional offers and prioritising support for part time students.

A UCU survey showed that a majority of staff involved in university applications (70%) would back a move to PQA, and the union said that the time has come for a rethink on admissions.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'This report includes a number of useful recommendations, providing plenty of food for thought for the new director of fair access and participation.

'UCU is a long-standing advocate of a move to post-qualifications admissions and this report shows that it's time for a rethink. Admissions staff support a move to a system based on actual grades rather than vague estimates of student potential. PQA would help level the playing field for students from different backgrounds and remove the problems associated with unconditional offers.'

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