Commenting on UCAS’s Provisional End of Cycle Report for admission to higher education in 2010/11, released yesterday, Andy Westwood, Chief Executive of GuildHE, said:
“The UCAS figures demonstrate that demand for HE is not being met by supply. This reverses the trend of recent years where growth in accepted students had kept pace with growth in applicants.
“Despite commitments by both the previous government and the Coalition to increase numbers, 2010 saw almost no extra acceptances.”
Among UK teenagers, the largest growth in acceptances was in the 40 per cent least likely to participate in HE. But Westwood cautioned:
“The figures show this group is still under-represented. If the Government is serious about encouraging participation and access, it will need to think innovatively about the diverse routes into study as the HE White Paper takes shape this winter.
“True student choice is about the opportunity to select from a wide range of subjects, delivered in a variety of ways, and close to home if that is what the student wants or needs. And a genuinely inclusive HE sector should encourage this diversity in its admissions system.
“Yesterday’s report alone cannot tell us how many of those who withdrew their UCAS application opted to study part-time instead. But it does show that the largest proportional growth in applicants this year was those progressing from FE colleges (7.3%), from foundation degrees and through independent applications and other, less “traditional” routes (18%). The GuildHE group of institutions, which saw a 9.3% increase in acceptances compared to the sector’s overall growth of 0.4%, and which includes small and specialist providers, has accepted larger than average proportions of students progressing into HE through these routes. And with the continued rise in mature students, and over 40% of UK students accepted to local institutions, enhancing student choice must be about maintaining a diverse ecology of HE provision.”
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Notes to editors
1. GuildHE is a recognised higher education representative body. Its 32 members are among the most dynamic and fastest-growing institutions in the sector. For a list of GuildHE institutions, please visit: https://www.guildhe.ac.uk/en/members-list/index.cfm
2. The UCAS Provisional End of Cycle report for the 2010/11 admissions cycle can be downloaded at https://ucas.com/about_us/media_enquiries/media_releases/2010/161110.
3. The report reveals that the GuildHE group of institutions saw a 9.3% increase in acceptances compared to the sector’s overall growth of 0.4% for 2010/11 entry. As a whole, GuildHE institutions accepted larger than average proportions of students progressing from FE colleges (21%, compared to 17% average), through foundation degrees and through independent applications and other routes (29%, compared to 25% average) for entry this year. These routes were among those which saw the largest proportional growth in applicants.
4. Many part-time applicants (including potentially those who withdrew their original UCAS application and opted to apply part-time instead, perhaps for financial reasons) do not apply through the UCAS system but direct to institutions.