BTECs have proven to be an essential part of the sector’s recent progress in widening access. Reforms to the qualification landscape should clarify how this continues, argues Nona Buckley-Irvine.
Angela Nartey, policy officer at the University and College Union, takes a look at their new report which suggests an overhaul of the university application system using actual grades rather than predicted.
Almost 600,000 students applied to university in 2015, a 2 per cent increase on the year before. More young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are applying to higher education but there are less applications from older age groups and the gap between men and women applying to university continues to rise.
Today UCAS released their End of Cycle Report for 2014 and this year, for the first time ever, over half a million students entered higher education. More students are entering higher education from disadvantaged backgrounds and closing the class gap but simultaneously, the gap between men and women entering higher education is getting wider.
UCAS have now published their data for applications to the 15 January deadline. By this stage, almost all school-leavers who are going to apply have applied, and a significant proportion of the overseas and older applicants have also applied. This provides us with a reasonably firm basis for taking stock of this years’ recruitment position.
UCAS have now published their mid-December data on the 2013 cycle, and the press coverage has been mainly downbeat, perhaps because UCAS has not tried the faintly ludicrous ‘late surge’ spin that they put on the equivalent data last year. But there are several reasons why we need to be cautious about drawing hasty conclusions from the data released so far.
Back in July, I wrote a post confidently predicting that this year’s Clearing would be less interesting than was widely expected, Somebody, somewhere will have a bad experience in Clearing because somebody, somewhere always does, but there is no reason to expect a pattern or trend. Those who do badly this year may do well next time. Life staggers on much as before. In this post, I look back at Clearing and ask who won, who lost and why? And why I got it wrong in July. Sort of.
Last Friday, the UCAS Admissions Process Review consultation came to an end and now we must wait to see whether the proposals to shift to an ‘application with results’ (formerly known as PQA) system has legs. In short, UCAS is proposing that (young) prospective students should apply to higher education, results in hand, within a short timeframe in the early summer. Applications would be turned round and decisions made within a matter of weeks.