News Editor Amy Lakin reports on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on university intakes for next year
Many British universities are resorting to what The Guardian has called ‘secret waiting lists’ in order to secure places for potential undergraduate students applying this year.
The move comes after increased uncertainty and ongoing changes to A-Level examinations that would usually form the basis of university offers and on the 5th of January this year, the UK government announced that all exams would be cancelled.
These exams will be replaced by teacher-led assessments and mock exams, meaning that students will not have the opportunity to sit formal examinations as in previous years.
This change means that universities are anticipating an increase in university applications, as grades will be potentially higher than usual. This is shown by the fact that 38% of all A-Level grades awarded in 2020 were issued at an A or an A*, figures which we could see increase in 2021.
Data from UCAS show that 76,940 students, an increase of 12% from 2020, applied to undergraduate courses with the 15 October deadline, a deadline which only applies to courses at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and to Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary courses.
Clare Marchant, UCAS Chief Executive, said: ‘It’s great news to see students aim high and aspire to a future beyond the current limits of COVID with their choices for next year. The marked increase in students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds applying is especially welcome, particularly as universities are ready to use the contextual data available to them when considering applications.’
This increase in demand has proven favourable to many universities. A senior figure in national university admissions revealed to The Guardian that many Russell Group universities, those among the highest ranked in the country are using this unusual set of circumstances to unofficially secure places for prospective students.
In addition to this, figures by UCAS show that there has been a 40% decrease in applications from EU students. This means that universities will be further inclined to offer more places and at a greater pace to students in order to supplement this drop in applications.
Like this article? Here are more from News: