Steep rise in unconditional university offers

30 January 2019 | last updated: 1 February 2019

UCU says time for radical overhaul of system as number of institutions handing out more unconditional offers rockets

Data released today by UCAS has shone another spotlight on the increase in the use of unconditional offers at universities.

The number of institutions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland where unconditional offers accounted for more than 1% of all offers shot up from 16 in 2013 to 85 in 2018.

In 2013 there were just three institutions where unconditional offers made up at least 10% of all offers. In 2018 that number had jumped to 62, with eight institutions making at least half of all offers on an unconditional basis.

 

2013

2018

Number of institutions where at least 1% of offers made by the institution were unconditional

16

85

Number of institutions where at least 10% of offers made by the institution were unconditional

3

36

Number of institutions where at least 20% of offers made by the institution were unconditional

0

18

Number of institutions where at least 50% of offers made by the institution were unconditional

0

8

UCU said it was time for a radical overhaul of university admissions and a shift to a system where students apply to university after they receive their grades. The union said such an approach would be fairer for students, bring the UK into line with the rest of the world and eliminate the use of unconditional offers as well as the chaotic clearing process.

UCU head of policy, Matt Waddup, said: 'The easiest and best way to tackle the increase in the use of unconditional offers is to move to a system where students apply to university after they receive their results.

'Allowing students to apply after they receive their results would make these type of unconditional offers redundant, bring us in line with the rest of the world and end the chaotic clearing scramble.'

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