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Supporting Professionalism in Admissions and Feedback UCET Management Forum - 26 June2008 Janet Graham, Director of SPA.

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Presentation on theme: "Supporting Professionalism in Admissions and Feedback UCET Management Forum - 26 June2008 Janet Graham, Director of SPA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Supporting Professionalism in Admissions and Feedback UCET Management Forum - 26 June2008 Janet Graham, Director of SPA

2 What is SPA and why does it exist? UKs independent and objective voice on HE admissions Set up to provide expertise and advice to the HE sector and other stakeholders to enhance professionalism in admissions, student recruitment and widening participation SPA leads on the development of fair admissions, and is managing the review of the implementation of the Schwartz report Fair Admissions (2004) recommendations The SPA Steering Group oversees the Programme and reports go to the UK HE funding bodies

3 SPA overview of issues Expectation of increasing professionalism within admissions, views of schools, colleges, public and media - are practices and processes fair and transparent? Increasing pressures on admissions staff in institutions providing HE - conflicting priorities and complex issues Responsible and professional use of admissions tests, contextual factors for holistic assessment SPA contribution to national debates and issues e.g. Delivery Partnership – Director member of this HE sector led national group Still much more work for SPA to do

4 SPA overview of issues Transparency in entry criteria and admissions decision making process and related information, advice and guidance (IAG) issues Transparency in admissions policies - John Denhams (DIUS) speech to the HEFCE Conference, April 2008: We have to look for … measures that will reassure the public… based on the fundamental principle that universities decide whom they should admit. The answer lies… in openness, transparency and accountability. It lies in each university having a published admissions policy; being able to show that it has measures in hand to equip all those involved in admissions to implement the policy accurately and fairly; and in each university being able to assure itself that this is being done. This government interest impacts on all institutions admitting students to HE courses

5 Professionalism in admissions Schwartz report felt admissions processes generally fair Schwartz 5 principles for fair admissions: 1.Be transparent, and provide consistent and efficient information 2.Admit students who are able to complete the course as judged by their achievements and potential 3.Use assessment methods in admissions that are reliable and valid 4.Minimise barriers to applicants 5.Be professional in every respect and underpinned by institutional structures and processes

6 What the SPA team have achieved so far Review of current admissions procedures, policies etc at HE providers – evidence of good practice and encouraging transparency. About 100 universities and colleges visited in UK to date (32% of the 309 HEIs in the UCAS scheme for 2008) Audit of the use of admissions tests, validity, how used, increasing transparency. Working with the UK Delivery Partnership – particularly in relation to encouraging more and better quality Entry Profiles and good practice in feedback to unsuccessful applicants Data and statistics to support admissions decision making and policy

7 What the SPA team have achieved so far Creation and development of the SPA website and information and communication strategy to disseminate good practice and build links Annual review report 2006-07 and a number of Factsheets 5 SPA conferences/seminars held round the UK to date and presentations at many others SPA inputs topics and good practice issues into UCAS CPD programme and, where possible, institutions Staff Development Offices etc with regard to training of admissions decision makers both administrative and academic, e.g. in interviews etc, this is crucial to enhance good practice.

8 Developing good practice - Progress Feedback to HE applicants Admissions Tests – validity, use, what is a good test? Interviewing HE applicants – nearly finished Applicants with criminal convictions, relevant courses need enhanced disclosure by registration – in progress Entry Profiles (with DP/UCAS) – key benefits document Factors considered for holistic assessment for fair admissions – in progress Admissions policies – in progress

9 Feedback to unsuccessful applicants Government Recommendation: More informative feed back to students, detailing particularly why their applications have been rejected The Delivery Partnership Steering Group (DPSG) considered this recommendation and welcomed SPAs draft statement of good practice on 1 May 2007 as a positive model to take forward. Links to the work of the DPSG Entry Profile Working Group encouraging the provision of clear, comparable entry requirement information, with a view to moving toward 100% Entry Profile information about courses on the UCAS website by September 2009 One of three consultations to stakeholders May/June 2007

10 Statement of Good Practice on Feedback Feedback to be on request Statement updated as a result of comments from consultation and elsewhere. Accepted by the Delivery Partnership Steering Group, UCAS Board, UUK Board, GuildHE Council, and SPA Steering Group Available to all on the SPA website: Circulated by Delivery Partnership Steering Group via UUK and SPA to HEIs in February 2008 HEIs to update policies and procedures so accessible by December 2008, for use for those applying for 2009 entry

11 Electronic Feedback options UCAS/GTTR working on the technological side, SPA input 1. Coding linked with a reject decision – this would be an institution devised code which would generate text of a standard sentence or paragraphs or possibly free text, which the applicant would view as a letter on Track 2. Amended reject decision where, on request from the applicant, the HEI would send feedback via UCAS/GTTR as a standard sentence/ paragraph or free text as a new amended reject decision, which the applicant would view as a letter on Track Text would need to be reviewed by the HEI on an annually basis Use of these by HEIs via UCAS/GTTR would be optional tool from 2009

12 SPA - the next three years1 14-19 curriculum issues - good practice in progression and admission to HE Vocational, skills and work based learning routes into HE, the role of compacts, articulation and progression agreements, foundation degrees and employee/employer engagement Equality and diversity issues relating to equality of opportunity and how this impacts admissions Develop our role in good practice, fairness and transparency relating to widening access/participation and linking schools and colleges to HE providers

13 SPA - the next three years2 The applicant experience, a key precursor to a good student experience: not only customer service/relations but also an integrated approach across an institution to pre-application, application, post-application and transition issues – this will include admissions policies Work with senior staff in HE provider institutions and via HEA, UUK GuildHE, AoC and others to increase buy-in to the strategic importance of recruitment, admissions and widening access to the institution Part-time applicants, establishing and analysing an evidence base of current practice to review equality of opportunity and good practice Impact of policies of the individual administrations in the UK.

14 Thank you More information from: or 01242 544891

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