1. ITV Report

The University of Nottingham to stop making unconditional offers to students

  • The University of Nottingham will stop making unconditional offers to applicants from this September.
  • They say so many unconditional offers are made, they no longer have value and can also demotivate students as they prepare for exams.
  • It comes days after universities were warned the practice could put them in breach of consumer law.
Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire/PA Images

The University of Nottingham will stop making unconditional offers to all applicants from this September, unless they already hold their qualifications.

They say that although the offers were previously used to attract applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds, the practice is now so widespread, and students can receive so many unconditional offers, they believe it's no longer useful in demonstrating faith in a candidate's ability.

They're also concerned that students who have unconditional offers are getting worse A-level results than they were predicted - suggesting that they are losing motivation to succeed in their exams.

Selective universities like Nottingham will always compete legitimately for talented applicants....

...However, we want everyone to be fully confident that they are admitted purely on their merits and potential. That is why we are ending the use of unconditional offers. Of course, the most accurate way of securing applications lies in the sector adopting a post-qualification admissions system - a concept that Nottingham has supported for more than a decade.

– University of Nottingham Registrar, Dr Paul Greatrix

The university says it will honour unconditional offers already made, and will continue to make unconditional offers where applicants have completed their qualifications and hold their results.

  • the number of offers with an unconditional component made to 18-year-olds has risen from 3,000 in 2013 to 117,000 in 2018.
  • applicants who accept an unconditional offer are more likely to miss their predicted A-level grades by two or more grades.

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