Universities have threatened to withdraw from the UCAS admissions system if post-qualification applications are introduced, casting doubt on the future of the proposed reforms. Under the proposals, scheduled for introduction in 2016, students would sit their A level exams six weeks or a month earlier and receive their results in July rather than August. Students would then apply to just two universities and start the academic term in early October.
Universities concerned by the plans claim that the shortened window for applications would prevent them from forging vital relationships with students, especially those from poorer backgrounds who might be more hesitant to apply. The 1994 Group’s assertion that many of its institutions would have “little option but to opt out of the post-results system” represents the strongest challenge to the plans. The Russell Group of universities said in its response that the proposed changes might deter students from making “aspirational” choices because they could apply to only two universities.
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