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Universities Warned Against Switching to Unconditional Offers

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The Office for Students, which acts as the higher education watchdog, has told universities in England to stop making unconditional offers for the next two weeks.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak there are concerns that universities are dropping exam requirements in a bid to push students to commit to courses.

The pause is an attempt to stop students panicking and choosing a course that may not be in their best interest.

According to the Department for Education, some universities appear to be switching offers to unconditional ones, where students will get a place regardless of exam grades.

Ministers have attacked the practice and call it an unfair sales tactic, which has been condemned by the Office for Students, the Department for Education and Universities UK.

It is hoped the two-week break will give universities, exam boards, regulators and ministers time to try and work out how to handle this year's universities admissions, in the absence of conventional exam results.

Ms Dandridge from Ofqual, the exam regulator said it is "rapidly developing a fair way of issuing A-level grades which should provide reassurance to students, and will also mean that there is no reason to rush decisions."

Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of Universities UK added: "It is vital that the admissions process remains fair, consistent, and in the best interests of all students - who have a right for their work and performance to date to be fairly reflected."