Change to admission system still on table

June 4, 1999

The Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals is pressing on with proposals for a post-qualification admissions system in the face of widespread opposition from schools, colleges and universities.

"We are aware that concerns are being voiced," said a CVCP spokeswoman. "We want to find a way forward to continue discussing a post-qualifications admissions system."

The possibility of students applying for university places only after receiving their A-level results has been discussed for many years. It was one of the recommendations made by Lord Dearing in his 1997 review of higher education.

A CVCP steering group was charged with developing such a system, in collaboration with regional groups convened by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. However, these regional groups, which include representatives from schools and colleges as well as universities, are strongly against the idea.

"We quite unanimously agreed that the proposals are a disaster," said Ken Young, admissions tutor at the University of Newcastle. "It would result in a shadowy world of unofficial offers operating alongside the official system."

Anne Richards, head of admissions at the University of Central Lancaster, said: "My understanding is that every one of the regional groups said that the proposals are unworkable. Schools and colleges were in total agreement that the system would not work."

UCAS is preparing a report based on the findings of the focus groups that will be sent to the CVCP shortly.

* The House of Commons select committee on education is to hold a one-off evidence session on UCAS on September 1.

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