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Presentation on theme: "IMPROVING HE ADMISSIONS: THE PQA CONSULTATION PAPER December 2005 Alan Wilson."— Presentation transcript:


2 GOALS At the end of each admissions cycle, there should be, as closely as possible, a match between the aspirations, demonstrated achievements and potential of each student and the course and institution they are admitted to. The process should be as efficient as possible for institutions

3 How to achieve that goal Argued that effectiveness and fairness demands the outcome of examinations before applications are considered - hence post-qualifications applications - PQA But much can be achieved through modifications to the present arrangements, potentially leading up to a form of PQA later

4 What could be improved? Conditional offers based on predicted grades, over half of which turn out to be wrong Students getting better than expected results have little chance to obtain a place that fairly reflects their ability Many students getting worse than expected results go through clearing A mismatch between a student and their course or institution is a strong indicator of likelihood to drop-out of HE

5 TOWARDS PQA We proceed in two stages: Pre-PQA developments PQA – two serious options

6 Our proposals are about… Improving information for students To facilitate improved choice Information about students To facilitate improved selection Improving the admissions process Numbers and timing of applications Achieving a greater percentage of students with offers Helping students who do better than expected in their exams Reforming Clearing Comprehensive – not just about A levels Building PQA proposals on these foundations

7 INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS the provision of clear, comparable entry requirement information students to have timely, accurate and reliable financial information, preferably in one place Best possible Teaching Quality Information More informative feedback letters

8 INFORMATION ABOUT STUDENTS Schools and colleges should not supply students predicted exam results with their HE applications and these should play no part in HE admissions decisions. What other information could be supplied in their place? AS, A2 module marks, SATS,…. ? Recording Achievement The potential of the e-portfolio

9 THE PRE-QA PROPOSALS – 1 Initial applications between the beginning of September and the end of March, either together or sequentially. HEIs to respond as speedily as is practicable. Students who receive no offers from their initial applications to be able to submit additional applications, one at a time, until they secure an offer, up to the end of June.

10 Students to continue to hold up to two offers. Students holding two offers to continue to rank them as first firm and insurance choices. HEIs to publish monthly vacancy lists, from the end of March until the end of Clearing.

11 Outstanding questions Four or six initial applications? One single final date for the submission of applications, or should the current deadline of 15 October remain the same for applications for Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science courses? Should students who hold only one offer following their initial application be allowed to submit additional applications until they gain a second offer?

12 2 – POST RESULTS A confirmation and new application round to be run ahead of Clearing. Students who out-perform their conditional offers can submit a new application with their original first firm conditional offer protected whilst they do so.

13 Clearing to operate on the basis of three consecutive application rounds in which students submit one application in each round. The results of AS, A-Levels, Highers and Advanced Highers to be published at least one week earlier than at present.

14 POST-QUALIFICATION APPLICATIONS TO HE (PQA) Single-Phase: where the entire process (applications, interviews, admissions tests etc.) takes place after exam results are published. Two-Phase: much of the administration (students supplying personal information, HEIs feedback on bursaries, applications for student support, interviews etc.) takes place ahead of exam results, and some or all applications after exam results known. We conclude at present in favour of (2)

15 Two Options for Consultation Option A: All students apply for HE places on a PQA basis. No binding offers in advance of exam results (except pre- qualified students) Option B: Some places offered at Phase 1, but HEIs reserve a proportion of places for Phase 2

16 Option A: Key Features Registration Phase: Up to 4 expressions of interest HEIs indicate likelihood of student gaining a place No binding offers Application Phase: 3 time-limited application rounds based on students 3 preferred choices (from original expressions of interest, or entirely new choices) Those without a place after three rounds can continue to make single applications on a rolling basis.

17 Option B: Key Features Phase 1 Up to 4 expressions of interest HEIs make offers or give feedback indicating that student could apply in Phase 2 Student chooses one conditional offer to hold open Phase 2 3 consecutive, time-bound application rounds based on a reserved proportion of places Students either confirm the offer they hold or may hold it open whilst they submit 3 new ranked applications Those without a place after 3 rounds can continue to make single applications on a rolling basis.

18 Next Steps Consultation launched 10 September Responses by 5 December Analysis and our response – March 2006

19 Responding to this consultation… Important to get as good a response as possible, to help shape the way forward. Hope you take this opportunity to respond to the consultation


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