The Office for Students responds to the UCAS End of cycle report

Nicola Dandridge and Chris Millward respond to the latest release of the UCAS End of cycle report.

Responding to the latest release of the UCAS End of cycle report, Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the OfS, said:

‘Unconditional offers have a place in university admissions. But we remain concerned by the continuing rise in so-called ‘conditional unconditional’ offers, which risk pressuring students’ into making decisions that may not be in their best interests. Happily, today’s data suggests that students are becoming increasingly cautious about being influenced by such admissions practices.

‘Ultimately, our primary concern is that students are enabled to make the right decisions for them. So if – as appears to be the case – they are increasingly looking beyond the promise of an unconditional offer when weighing up what is important to them, this is a positive development.

‘The fact that those students with the highest predicted grades are even less likely to accept these offers suggests that if universities’ motivation is to reward high performing applicants, it is not working.’

Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the OfS, added:

‘It is great to see that young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds are now more likely than ever to get in to our universities, especially those with the highest entry requirements where gaps have consistently been the widest. We must not, though, lose sight of the fact that these gaps remain stark, and we are expecting greater ambition to address this during the coming years.’

Nicola’s response was covered by The Guardian, Financial Times, The Telegraph and the Daily Mail.

Published 18 December 2019

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