You're all rejected, Ucas tells art class

June 13, 2003

A whole class of art and design students has been mistakenly told they have been turned down by their first choice of university.

The error was spotted only when their course tutor at Dunstable College, in Bedfordshire, complained to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

This comes after up to 9,000 students were last week denied their final offer of a university place this autumn because their acceptance slips had been delivered to the wrong address.

Richard Mills, marketing manager for Dunstable College, said: "The tutor was hopping mad. We're a small college, but we have a reputation for getting students into their first choice of college."

He said the mistake had been very disappointing and demotivating for the 18 students.

Art and design students follow a different application route from those studying other subjects. They apply to a first-choice college that then decides whether or not to invite them for interview. If the student is made an offer and accepts, all other choices are cancelled.

The group's applications had been sent in one batch. They were processed as "late entry" and Ucas said they could not be considered by their first choice of institution.

When Carol Tarrant, course tutor for the BTec foundation pre-degree diploma in art at Dunstable College, realised none of her students had been offered a first-choice interview, she contacted Ucas. She was able to prove their applications had arrived on time as each had received a date-stamped card to confirm receipt.

Ucas apologised and the students have been reassigned to the interviews they were hoping for.

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