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Unconditional Offers Increase Dramatically

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

UCAS has reported a huge increase in the number of unconditional offers being made to students for university places.

In 2018 a total of 67,915 unconditional offers were granted to 18-year olds from England, Northern Ireland, and wales. This compares to just 2,985 in 2013 and means nearly a quarter of applicants received such as offer.

There are concerns the figures point to a 'bums on seats' mentality and risked encouraging students not to strive for the best possible A-level results.

The latest UCAS figures show that by the end of June this year, there were 254,700 18-year olds from England, Northern Ireland and Wales applying to university.

It is the first time UCAS has analysed offer-making patterns during an application cycle.

Chief executive of Universities UK, Alistair Jarvis commented: "While there has been a steady growth in the number of unconditional offers made, they still account for a small proportion (7.1%) of all offers made by universities."

"Unconditional offers, when used appropriately, can help students and ensure that universities are able to respond flexibly to the range of applicants seeking places."

"Universities UK will continue to work with UCAS to monitor trends and any impact unconditional offer-making might have on student attainment."

"It is simply not in the interests of universities to take students without the potential to succeed."

However, government has been less than impressed with the figures, suggesting unconditional offers were irresponsible and universities should limit the number they offer. Their increased use also reflects an increasingly competitive market, with universities vying for students.