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Access Learners and HE Admissions Betsy Bowerman, Mature Students’ Adviser.

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Presentation on theme: "Access Learners and HE Admissions Betsy Bowerman, Mature Students’ Adviser."— Presentation transcript:

1 Access Learners and HE Admissions Betsy Bowerman, Mature Students’ Adviser

2 Access – how is it viewed ‘In considering applications from mature students we give credit for a range of vocational qualifications and occupational and life experiences, as well as more traditional qualifications, such as A levels or Access courses.’

3 Access and selecting institutions UCAS data shows that the rate of acceptance of Access students to pre institutions is lower than for other mature students Is this due to perceptions about the qualification or about Access students?

4 FE project Joint project with Bath University looking at progression of FE students Concerns about progression Perceptions of Access as appropriate progression varied between departments Science and Maths an issue Additional requirements

5 The admissions context Admissions tutors are less familiar with Access and other non-A level qualifications Many new quals coming on board so need for better knowledge Issue of who is a ‘mature’ student and Access Fewer Access students mean one bad experience is magnified But many departments extremely positive and welcoming

6 The admissions process: issues around Access in past Lack of commonality and consistency in Access courses Credibility of the qualification – undifferentiated award Lack of clarity from universities about entry criteria for Access – plus credit inflation Lack of information from providers about course and applicant

7 Developments The new Access to HE Diploma Common credit framework with standard requirement – 60 credits, 45 at level 3 Western Access Progression Agreement (WAPA) - in our region Grading – phase two of pilot this year, grading in place next year Will open up more progression opportunities

8 Helping Access students to gain a place Check suitability/match of HE course Deadlines List all units and level Informative references or offer of follow up reference

9 Personal statements Clear passion for subject – evidence of extra reading or particular topic of interest How relevant work or life experiences have shaped interests Explanation of previous performance, route taken Evidence of practical skills How they can benefit from study in HE

10 What are admissions tutors looking for? ‘I like candidates to be honest and explain (briefly) why they have followed a slightly unusual progression to HE. I’m not asking for hard-luck stories, but it does help to get a more rounded picture of the individual.’ ‘We do like to see some acknowledgment of how they’ve changed and why they are now more suitable for HE.’

11 What are admissions tutors looking for? ‘The single thing that impresses me most is a clear passion for the subject.’ ‘Evidence of extra reading and perhaps a brief discussion of areas they find interesting is always a good sign.’ The students who stand out clearly demonstrate vocational commitment, so have taken time to visit an audiology department, spoken to an audiologist about what the job involves…’

12 References Information about the course Structure, subjects Student’s academic abilities and interests – as much ‘hard’ information as possible – level 3 achievement Student’s commitment, inc. time management, meeting deadlines Social and communication skills Recommendation for degree level study

13 Contact


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