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Universities Could Face Student Caps

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Reports suggest that emergency controls are being considered that could result in universities in England facing limits on how many students they can recruit.

The measures are being considered in an attempt to create more stability and reduce financial stress for those universities that may otherwise not be able to recruit enough first-year students.

According to university group's chief executive Alistair Jarvis, financial support for universities is necessary but any controls on student numbers would need "more detailed consideration".

He added: "There would need to be a clear case of the benefits, any proposal would have to be sector-led not imposed, strictly time-limited and carefully crafted to avoid unintended consequences."

Commenting on the idea, vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, Sir Chris Husbands, said student controls were necessary during the crisis to "ensure that institutions have a viable first-year student population".

Last week plans were announced to stop universities making unconditional offers due to fears some institutions were recruiting large numbers of students by promising them places regardless of grades.

With such uncertainty surrounding this year's applications, it is feared that some universities will face such a shortage of students it could threaten their financial stability, although the caps would also stop individual universities from expanding and limit choice for individual students.