Ministers 'planning crackdown' on unconditional university offers

Posted On: 
18th August 2018

Education ministers are reportedly planning to attempt to reduce the number of unconditional offers given to university applicants.

There are concerns that unconditional offers could lead to students dropping out of university with no qualifications

Education Secretary Damian Hinds is understood to have met with senior university figures, UCAS, and the Office for Students over concerns about the detrimental effect on students of the offers.

In the past five years the number of unconditional offers has risen from just 2,500 in 2013 to nearly 60,000 this year, causing concern that students could neglect the final stage of their secondary education.

A government source told the i: "Unconditional offers are something we are really worried about. If those kids then drop out of university, what qualifications have they got to show for it?

"There is a place for unconditional offers when they are used responsibly, but we can’t have it where they are producing these perverse incentives for students."

The move follows results from UCAS which showed that 23% of students applying for a place at university this year had received an unconditional offer – meaning they do not even need to pass their A-levels to take up a place.

This comes after the University and College Union (UCU) suggested an overhaul of the university admissions system so that students apply after receiving their exam results. They called the increase in unconditional offers “detrimental to the interest of students”.