Planning and managing admissions overview predictenact review keep up to date be ready
Welcome and reflections on 2014 Janet Graham, Director of SPA
Welcome Participants predominantly from England but also Scotland and Wales Participants predominantly universities but also independent providers, specialist colleges, FE colleges offering HE Participants exclude HEFCE - last week they said to us: HEFCE are still uncertain of the exact date they will communicate their approach to the quality of student (applicant) experience after the lifting of the SNCs. They would prefer to first communicate with heads of institutions; their communication to VCs and Principals will happen ‘fairly soon’.
Reflections on 2014 Last year participants predicted the key considerations in admissions for 2014 would be: Strategies for managing numbers Increased and more informed recruitment / marketing activity Improved data analysis Review of entry requirements Improved internal communication / understanding How did you do on these?
Reflections on 2014 At start of academic year some stability Continuation of ABB Changes to the exemptions list with mixed qualifications Flexibility – allowed for expansion/reduction by 3% Then Chancellors unexpected announcement in December 2013: 30,000 extra places for 2014 entry The cap on student numbers would be lifted from 2015 (except for some independent HE providers)
Reflections on 2014 Institutional strategic responses mixed: o Some chose to expand controlled numbers, others planned for stability; o Consideration of the implications for cross border flows Institutional practices - changes: o Unpredictability of conversion rates changed some providers practices o More unconditional offer making but numbers relatively small o A wider range of incentives – free accommodation, laptops, subsidised travel to the HEP, merit bursaries etc. o Greater spending on marketing and conversion activities And others…..?
Reflections on 2014 Increasingly competitive market place – o looking for efficiencies o new USPs for quality of offering and service, o while enhancing access for disadvantaged students and o ensuring fair admissions Office of Fair Trading ‘the HE sector is in many respects performing to a very high standard in competition and consumer law terms’, but issues on consumer protection e.g. terms and conditions for applicants Independent/ alternative providers – student loans issue following big expansion in numbers recruited in 2013
Today’s set-up: Sharing ideas, issues, insights, good practice Openness and confidentiality Aim to improve the applicant experience by you considering how to enhance planning and managing your admissions
Changing admissions policies Planning+managing NUMBERS OperationAL STRUCTURES Yellow – specific to 2014 Pink – ongoing Yellow – specific to 2014
Review with purpose Each group to feedback on a key change Reflect on: any good practice recommendations implications for fair admissions lessons to learn for planning 2015
The forecast for 2015 and beyond Janet Graham, Director of SPA
“Equal opportunity for all individuals, regardless of background, to gain admission to a course suited to their ability and aspirations.” What is Fair Admissions? 1. be transparent 2. enable institutions to select students who are able to complete the course as judged by their achievements and their potential 3. strive to use assessment methods that are reliable and valid 4. seek to minimise barriers to applicants 5. be professional in every respect and underpinned by appropriate institutional structures and processes
Forecast and Reflections on 2015 What does fair admissions mean in a new competitive environment? The principles still apply, now more than ever, and are included in the QAA Quality Code Chapter B2 Recruitment, Selection and Admission How can fair admissions work in practice? SPA will be working with HE providers on this as the competitive market develops over the next few years
Forecast and Reflections on 2015 Autumn Statement December 2013 for England: from 2015 the cap on student numbers in publicly-funded institutions will be removed entirely publicly-funded providers will be freed from number controls. independent providers will have some form of number controls (as yet unknown). estimated unmet demand in the system of 60,000 qualified young people who currently do not secure a place in higher education (30,000 for 2014 then again 2015) Estimate 15-16,000 extra only were admitted 2014 (UCAS data)
Forecast and Reflections on 2015 Government’s intention in freeing up number controls is to ‘improve quality in the sector’ through increased competition and expansion of institutions in high demand (Autumn Statement, p. 55). The lifting of the cap welcomed as affording more people greater opportunity to benefit from HE. Can an open (partly open? – most change same fees) competitive HE market by itself deliver either of these desirable outcomes?
Forecast and Reflections on 2015 Who will still be capped? Scotland: Scottish and EU Wales: Welsh and EU Northern Ireland: Northern Irish and EU Alternative provides Courses with regulated numbers e.g. nursing, medicine, teaching
Forecast and Reflections on 2015 UK wide and cross border issues Referendum result, Scotland to continue as part of UK – student fees and student loans? Possible direct grant to HEPs in NI cut of up to 15%?? Wales consultation reviewing HE funding and student support Regional agendas in Scotland and Wales to limit competition – very different to England General Election May 2015 – what if changes in June? HE unlikely to feature highly in manifestos –but doesn’t mean changes won’t happen
Forecast and Reflections on 2015 HEFCE Annual Meeting 16 October 2014 - four main areas of regulation, most relevant to admissions Student protection - consumer protection - includes applicants to HE Quality assurance o Importance of Chapter B2, Quality Code. o QAA out to tender What do these mean for student recruitment and admissions?? HEFCE and National Strategy on WP - student opportunity Role of OFFA and Access Agreements
Forecast and Reflections on 2015 What are thoughts in BIS, what will HEFCE do? HEFCE not attend today as “we would prefer to first communicate with heads of institutions about our approach to the quality of student [and applicant] experience after the lifting of the SNCs, before talking about it more widely. Our communication to VCs and Principals will happen fairly soon.”
SPA support in 2014-15 Janet Graham, Director of SPA
SPA’s objectives 1 To provide definitive expertise, advice and good practice on fair admissions to the UK HE sector and other stakeholders. 2 To research and develop advice and good practice on how contextualised admissions can be used for fair HE admissions in the UK. 3 To work with staff in Further Education Colleges offering HE, and stakeholders, to develop the role of fair admissions and good practice in admitting students to HE: UK-wide but with a focus on England. SPA’s website and good practice guidance is available to independent HE providers. 4 To examine and develop good practice for the collection and use of applicant information via direct (i.e. HEP-owned) application forms (e.g. for part-time courses.)
SPAs objectives 1.To provide definitive expertise, advice and good practice on fair admissions to the UK HE sector and other stakeholders. 1a Deregulated student numbers in the UK and policy changes impacting admissions 1b Qualification changes, Routes into HE, the UCAS Tariff and admissions decision- making 1c Framework of good practice, update existing good practice and associated on-line Toolkit 1d Equality and diversity issues impacting on admissions – inc. Care Leavers 1e National strategies for widening access and participation round the UK – input from an admissions perspective 1g SPA Applicant Experience Strategy – review and good practice update 1h Admissions infrastructure 1i Initiate debate on what is fair admissions in the new environment
What services do we offer to the HE sector? Good practice from experts on admissions, who have worked in HE Events – think tanks, conferences, seminars, communities of practice, we travel and visit HEPs round the UK Communications – weekly emails to Heads of Admissions, UCAS correspondents and stakeholders On-line resources - the SPA Website includes our good practice and supporting information Interactive digital dissemination –on-line toolkit to highlight our good practice and show its interconnectivity for HEP staff is in development Guidance on queries, formal and informal for HEPs and stakeholders
Close and informal networking Please complete your feedback forms
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