The Director and SPOs have all worked in universities in admissions, inc. Aston, Birmingham City University, York, Newcastle, Northumbria, De Montfort, Leicester, Cambridge SPA is not a regulator, auditor, professional body or training organisation, but an independent programme to support HE develop its professionalism and lead on fair admissions Expectation of increasing professionalism but with increasing pressures within all aspects of admissions, managers, professional support staff and academic staff Government, media, schools and colleges, parents and others want to know and be assured admissions to HE is a fair system Conflicting priorities and complex issues: policy initiatives, fees and funding, process changes (UCAS) 14-19 curriculum developments, institutional priorities … Economic climate – reduced funding/ resources/ places but increased volume of applications Need to maintain a quality service and enhance excellence All available on our website: www.spa.ac.uk Aims: Development of good practice and professionalism in UK admissions Promote fair admissions and access. Support social mobility initiatives Integrated strategic approach to admissions - toolkit Benefits: Evidence based expertise on admissions to HE throughout the UK A fully funded resource for institutions who wish to enhance excellence and fairness in admissions and student recruitment Wide range of good practice, provision of advice and answering queries 17 October 2012 Admissions update
Many other examples 17 October 2012 Admissions update
Admissions update 17 October 2012 The Admissions to Higher Education Steering Group was asked to develop a statement of high-level principles about admissions that all English institutions providing higher education (HE) could adopt. The Steering Group consulted on the issues relating to fair admissions in autumn 2003 and produced a series of draft recommendations for consultation in spring 2004. SPA revisited these principles with Task and Finish Group, chair by Mary Stuart, VC, Lincoln Some of these maybe ‘hard’ quantifiable measures, while others rely on qualitative judgements. In Schwartz both legal and lay opinion placed value on the use of discretion and the assessment of applicants as individuals. To quote from Steven Schwartz in the forward to his 2004 report Admissions are the responsibility of universities and colleges themselves, and rightly so. Institutions should be able to set their own criteria, choose their own assessment methods, and select their own students. But it is important that everyone has confidence in the integrity of the admissions process. Access to higher education matters to many people, and so do fair admissions. Fair Admissions to Higher Education: Recommendations for good practice 2004 (referred to as the Schwartz Report). Accessed 26 March 2012 How do HEIs select students who are able to complete the course as judged by their achievements and their potential? holistic assessment - including personal statement – evidence of commitment to the course and institution reference work and/or voluntary experience information about predicted and achieved qualifications contextual information qualitative and reliable information
The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) is an independent public body that helps safeguard and promote fair access to higher education for lower income and other under-represented groups. We have three core aims: to support and encourage improvements in participation rates in higher education from low income and other under-represented groups to reduce as far as practicable the barriers to higher education for students from low income and other under-represented groups by ensuring that institutions continue to invest in outreach and financial support to support and encourage equality of opportunity through the provision of clear and accessible financial information for students, their parents/carers and their advisers The main way OFFA do this is by approving and monitoring 'access agreements'. All English universities and colleges that want to charge higher fees must have an 'access agreement' with OFFA. Admissions update 17 October 2012
SPA established the national Fair Admissions Task and Finish Group, chaired by Mary Stuart, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lincoln. One of the objectives in the SPA business plan for 2011-12 was to revisit the principles of fair admissions as outlined in the Schwartz Report. The aims of the Fair Admissions Task and Finish Group were to Examine if principles are still relevant and appropriate in the light of changing policies for higher education in the UK and the timing of these changes, including tuition fees, student and institution funding, student number control and widening inclusion Highlight the increasing divergence of these policies in each administration and the impact this divergence has on a UK wide higher education sector. This results in ‘cross-border’ issues for applicants, institutions and policy makers. Highlight issues for further consideration by SPA to add value for the HE sector in the light of these on good practice and fair, professional admissions. Identify issues for consideration by the school/college sector, government departments and agencies, HE and College representative bodies, UCAS and others. Divergence of policies across the UK - This results in ‘cross-border’ issues for applicants, institutions and policy makers The final report will be published in June 2012 All stakeholders include prospective applicants, applicants, advisors, schools and colleges and HEIs The dynamic situation in the current cycle is challenging for fair admissions, but generally institutions have risen to the challenge. Some stability in policy would be helpful - although unlikely. Institutions need to consider how the implementation of fair admissions principles in-house are monitored, and communicated externally. SPA will work, with HEIs and other stakeholders, on in-cycle changes, practical advice on fair admissions when such changes become necessary. fair admissions in Confirmation, Adjustment and Clearing A major HE sector led review of fair admissions proposed by SPA in 2013,UK wide, including schools/colleges and other stakeholders. Tie in with admissions section development in the new QAA Quality Code. Admissions update 17 October 2012
Admissions update 17 October 2012
APR consulation 2012 – changes to admissions processes and procedures via UCAS QIR consultation 2012 - Tariff may go, QIPs IT HE fairs etc UCAS Weblink : Applicant data All data for applicants is available electronically HEIs can view/print whole applications UCAS issues paper ‘copy forms’ on request Reports and Outstanding Decisions Lists (ODLs) are available in electronic format Provides for real-time update of applicant records Invisibility will apply until the applicant is in a final state Replies can be viewed Changes can be made to course / year / point of entry Process offers and amend offers Process confirmation decisions Set up short cuts for making offers Management reports APR QIR IT HE fairs etc
Admissions update Self-declared e.g. in application: applicant been in care, illness, looks after others, disability. Extenuating circumstances Increasingly ‘hard data’ from publicly available data sources - e.g. Scottish Government, SFC, DfE, HEFCE, DENI, WAG and some via UCAS Commercially available data e.g. ACORN or MOSAIC Contextual information: interviews, auditions, portfolio, admissions tests It depends on where the information is used. Contextual data for applicants to full-time undergraduates can be defined as data or information which may be part of, or additional to, that provided by the applicant in UCAS Apply, that sets the application in its educational or socio-economic context. The data could be self declared or from publicly available datasets. For widening access and inclusion it may be: information that can help target schools and colleges in certain areas; to identify those potential students who may be eligible for support through compact or progression agreements or other outreach and aspiration raising activities.
There continues to be considerable interest UK wide in the use of contextual data, i.e. putting attainment in the context of the circumstances in which it has been obtained. However, there is not a shared understanding across the sector of the purpose of contextual data, the methodologies used, and the added value. The institutional research base to date has been detailed, but typically considers HEIs in isolation and as a consequence has given a fragmented view of the sector-wide picture. SPA’s national research project aims to provide consistent description and assessment of contextual data usage with 15 volunteer HEIs, (two in Scotland) to examine methodology, use and added value The UCAS personal statement The UCAS reference Progression rates to higher education (percentage determined by cohort size) from school/college School performance - Average (mean) school GCSE performance for 5 A*-C GCSE (including English/Welsh and Mathematics) Average (mean) school 'Best Eight' GCSE performance Progression from Year 11 to further education Average (mean) of QCA points per qualification In receipt of (or entitled to) free school meal (FSM) In receipt of (or entitled to) an Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) Lives in a low progression to higher education neighbourhood (LPN) e.g. POLAR2 data Geodemographic segmentation e.g. ACORN data Socio-economic class IIIM-VII Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) Have been in care for a given period of time (e.g. 3 or 6 months) Participation in a recognised summer school (‘recognised’ defined by each individual University) Interviews Admissions tests England and Wales Average QCA points per A level entry and per student (or equivalent) England and Wales Average QCA point score for best 8 GCSEs England, Wales, and Northern Ireland % of students achieving 5 A*-C GCSE including English/Welsh and maths (or equivalent) % of students entitled to EMA (not England) England, Wales, and Northern Ireland % of students entitled to free school meals and for Scotland % registered by Local Authority Scottish Highers equivalent average point score per Higher entry and points for Highers per student Scottish Standard grade equivalent average point score for best 8 SCQF level 4 Scotland % of students achieving 5+ SCQF level 4 including English and Maths Lives in a low progression to higher education neighbourhood (Polar 2) Applicants attending the same school twice over two distinct periods Only that data which is validated by Northern Irish schools has been published Duplicate columns appearing in the Education section of Web-link Incorrect column labels appeared within the contextual data EMA data is currently recorded as a percentage of the national level rather than the LA level Independent schools different census returns - this can create gaps in the data 17 October 2012 Admissions update
Holistic assessment, what else to take into account about the applicant, not just information on application form – this could be contextual data, additional information, admissions test results, skills and competencies, etc. Need to consider the ‘applicant experience’ provided by the HEI Initial Sift - to identify applicants who do not meet the standard academic entry criteria but who could nevertheless be considered for the next stage. Shortlisting - to identify applicants to invite for interview or to give applicants further consideration at shortlisting stage prior to interview or further testing. Interview or other selection methods (e.g. admissions tests; portfolios; written work) - to take account of an applicant’s experience and background in relation to their likely social capital, opportunities, and educational background. Gathered field - to identify applicants with contextual data flags who may fall below a threshold in a gathered field but have the potential to succeed (for example identified at interview). Offers - to make an offer at the bottom end of the standard offer threshold (where applicable), to make an offer which differs from the standard offer, or to make a standard offer to those with lower predicted grades than would usually attract an offer. Confirmation - to give additional consideration to applicants whose examination performance is borderline. Rationale for rejection - to provide clear and robust reason for rejection at all stages of the application process both for institutional purposes and to inform feedback to applicant. C ase study institutions reported that the application of contextual data has been effective in a competitive field, identifying the ‘best’ applicants with the greatest potential and likelihood of a successful degree outcome. The approaches used were based on both internal and external research, the analysis of in house data and the application of institutionally developed data methodologies. Admissions update 17 October 2012
This research was designed to support the HE sector in the development of a greater understanding not only of how contextual data is currently being used in admissions processes but also in terms of the value of contextual data in both the delivery of fair admissions policies and procedures and widening of participation in HE. This research report is intended as an initial resource for institutions in formulating their approach to the use of contextual data in admissions. Rather than providing institutions with ‘off the shelf’ solutions, it provides a starting point to stimulate debate about how the systematic use of contextual data will support the development of professional practice and as a means to recognise achievement and identify potential. The SPA report highlights the extensive research in this area: socio-economic background, where you live, type of school attended; subject choice can all impact on attainment and therefore progression to higher education. The key point is that ‘intelligence’ alone is not the only causal factor behind different patterns of attainment and education progression. The use of contextual data in the admissions process is used to mitigate these factors by identifying those who ‘merit’ a place using a wider range of indicators than attainment alone. Does this mean institutions are moving away from academic rigor and high standards? No It is about individual institutions supporting the delivery of fair admissions and maintaining high academic standards. Rather than ‘levelling down’ it is about seeking excellence; it is a way of widening the pool of applicants by identifying the ‘best applicants’ with the greatest potential and likelihood of a successful degree outcome. Identified successful examples of contextual data use. Data use and methodologies will be shared by SPA and could be adapted by HEIs across the sector Admissions update 17 October 2012
The chosen structure on its own is unlikely to convey any benefit to meeting the requirements that an individual HEI needs its admissions system to deliver. Requirements to meet the 5 principles of fairness, so for example, transparency. A structure needs underpinning policies in order to deliver these requirements. The structure must be part of a strategic approach to admissions and recruitment, including the development and implementation of appropriate policies. Different approaches will be chosen by different HEIs and this is very much an internal strategic decision to be made by the staff who understand the particular subtleties and needs of the institution.
A strict definition of ‘centralised’ - a system where all aspects of admissions are handled by teams that have direct line management accountability to the institutional executive. ‘ Devolved’ - defined by primary accountability on departmental or faculty lines. However, in practice few, if any admission structures work to such pure terms. There are many aspects of variation, which make it difficult to determine if a structure is centralised or devolved. Aspects of variation: Most centralised systems have some elements that are devolved e.g. departments or courses in creative subjects, medicine, professional courses and others requiring interviews or that have additional entry criteria; In some devolved systems decisions are made by professional administrators, not academic admissions tutors. It is very rare for all modes and levels of study to be centralised e.g. undergraduate central but postgraduate devolved, and vice versa - full-time central but part-time devolved.
During the first five years of the SPA Programme we noted a trend towards the increased centralisation of admissions decision-making structures. Just under half (52) of the 108 admissions structures reviewed by SPA in 2010 were centralised, with the remainder either wholly devolved (48) or with a mixture of devolved and centralised service (8). This is not a complete sample of UK HE providers, but it is an indication of the existing diversity across the sector. We updated these statistics via a short email request to HEIs in June 2011, asking HEIs whether they would describe their undergraduate admissions decision-making structure as: centralised, devolved or mixed. Just under half (63) of the 136 admissions structures reviewed by SPA in 2011 were centralised, with the remainder either wholly devolved (50) or with a mixture of devolved and centralised service (23). However, as there is not a consistent definition of ‘centralised’ this picture hides the true detail and complexity in the sector. Updating these statistics at the moment to inform a piece of work around ‘What makes an effective admissions operation.’ This mixed picture highlights the importance of effective communication both within HEIs and between HEIs and their external stakeholders.
In thinking about how admissions operates and is structured within HEIs, staff will want to think about the key interactions and communications required with particular groups or individuals within the institution. This is likely to include the need to work closely with: recruitment and school and colleges liaison staff; WP staff marketing staff, for example, to launch specific marketing campaigns based on data analysis; international recruitment and admissions staff student records staff – changes e.g. paperless admissions. Close working relationships will also be needed with planning staff, to ensure the HEI has a joined-up strategic approach to the management of student numbers. Many of SPA’s good practice statements and recommendations are inter-linked and the considerations involved when HEIs think about their admissions structure and approach to strategy and operational processing are closely linked to thinking about collaboration with regard to admissions planning and managing numbers. In considering the staff areas which admissions need to collaborate with, HEIs may be able to see more clearly the structure and approach which would be most appropriate to aid internal communication and ensure effective delivery of shared strategic objectives. HEIs should consider their own unique organisational structures when thinking about collaboration, and should include any additional course, institutional, local or mission level collaborations relevant to achieving their admissions plans. LINK TO APPLICANT EXPERIENCE STRATEGY
As a quick background to how we’ve developed the applicant experience, we started with four broad stages. These were the most readily identified parts to a traditional admissions model. Our definition of interactive participation and engagement is crucial. Any engagement involves an exchange of information, advice or guidance, but if the engagement isn’t structured, or you don’t even know it’s happening, how do you know if it’s effective, or even counter-effectual? Without a coherent strategy to engagement, you could be doing more harm than good.
The quickest way to explain our applicant experience strategy is by defining the differences between a good and a poor experience. Note that a good or experience is not determined by an applicant being accepted onto a course. How HEIs deal with unsuccessful applicants is every bit as relevant to a good experience as how they guide successful ones. Similarly, accepting an applicant can actually lead to a poor experience.
SPA believes strategic leadership in admissions should be integral to an institutions learning and teaching strategy and planning . This leadership may encompass reviewing the management and processes of both academic and other professional staff in: admissions planning widening participation student services marketing management information services registry quality etc
Isle of Man and Channel Islands: Technically, not part of UK Not counted as EU for funding Annual fee agreement between local governments and UK (via UUK) Fees to study in UK for 2012 = up to £9,000 Fees usually paid by local government Do not count towards SNCs 17 October 2012 Admissions update
Consideration of equality and diversity by HEFCE and the conducting of an equality impact assessment on the proposals is welcomed by SPA. The Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) have conducted research on equitable admissions for underrepresented groups (due to be published shortly after this consultation closes) and SPA would recommend HEFCE consult closely with them on this issue. More broadly, SPA believes the inherent unfairness of the AAB+ equivalencies in 2012 have not been addressed and that students not taking qualifications on the equivalency list will be at an even greater disadvantage when exemptions are given to ABB+. This will have a disproportionately adverse effect on various disadvantaged groups. Disabled students, black students, students from lower-socio-economic groups and males were all identified as less likely to achieve AAB+ and we have seen no evidence to suggest a shift to ABB will do anything other than exacerbate that disadvantage. It may perhaps allow more selective courses to apply contextual factors when considering ABB+ equivalent students when entry requirements are higher, but SPA’s research has seen a negligible increase in the use of contextual data for making lower offers. SPA’s Use of Contextual Data in Admissions Survey , conducted in June 2011, indicated no planned increase in institutions intending to use contextual data to make lower offers in the future compared to actual use prior to 2011 entry. SPA will survey institutions again in the Autumn of 2012 on this topic and will share any new finding s with HEFCE. Furthermore, many contextual data factors used by HEIs are not collected centrally for those not in state supported school or college in the UK, this includes mature students or for EU students (e.g. postcode analysis; school performance; free school meals), compounding the risk of effective exclusion of students otherwise eligible for HEFCE funding because of their home nation’s education programme and qualifications. It is essential that the process for deciding the conditions to determine an equivalent qualification, and the level at which equivalence is set, is comprehensive, consistently applied across all qualifications, proportionate to satisfying a legitimate aim and robust enough to meet legal challenge. Admissions update 17 October 2012
SPA event for admissions, planning and data analysis staff, 27 September 2012 Over 50 different institutions discussed: Changes to admissions policy Organisational changes Entry requirements and offer-making Targets and planning Confirmation, Adjustment and Clearing arrangements Conversion rates and (provisional) new entrant numbers Any unexpected issues
Admissions update 17 October 2012
AUA Development Conference 2012 - Janet Graham
Admissions and selection for HE is changing: what do you need to know? AUA Development Conference - 17 October 2012 Janet Graham, Director of SPA
AUA working session – some current issues in admissions: What does fair admissions mean in the changing HE landscape? SPA’s national Fair Admissions Task and Finish Group What are the business process models used in HEIs to manage and run admissions – how does this relate to the ‘applicant experience’? Student number controls – what has this meant for HEIs in terms of their admissions processes and policies? Implications of new policies round the UK. Why use contextual data in admissions? What are some of the other issues impacting admissions?
What is SPA? SPA - the Supporting Professionalism in Admissions Programme Established in 2006 following the Schwartz Report, Fair Admissions to Higher Education: Recommendations for Good Practice 2004 Small team, with strategic, policy and practical experience in the HE admissions sector UK’s independent and objective voice on HE admissions, reporting to the national SPA Steering Group Funded by HEFCE, DELNI, UCAS and Universities UK
SPA’s Good Practice for HE – some examples Complaints and Admissions Policies Interviews Appeals Admissions Tests Contextual Data Feedback Applicant Experience Criminal Convictions Part-time admissions Planning and Managing Art and Design Equality and Diversity AdmissionsCentralised/ Devolved Vocational HE in FE Admissions Qualifications
What is Fair Admissions? Schwartz principles for fair admissions: be transparent enable institutions to select students who are able to complete the course as judged by their achievements and their potential strive to use assessment methods that are reliable and valid seek to minimise barriers to applicants be professional in every respect and underpinned by appropriate institutional structures and processes
Fair admissions and fair access – what’s the difference? If fair admissions covers the five principles, is fair access about getting more disadvantaged students into top universities? Supporting the most able but least likely to apply? Yes, but that’s only part of the issue Raising aspirations and encouraging and supporting all students with potential to aim higher for an HE course that is right for them at an institution that can provide what they need, when they need it - full-time, part-time, flexible or distance learning etc Schwartz Report: “Equal opportunity for all individuals, regardless of background, to gain admission to a course suited to their ability and aspirations.”
SPA Task and Finish Group on Fair Admissions - Outcomes The principles of fair admissions as outlined in the Schwartz Report are still relevant and appropriate in the changing UK HE admissions landscape. Considerable progress has been made on fair admissions. The fair admissions principles support the interests of both applicants and of universities and colleges. Important that effective messages communicated to all HE admissions stakeholders: staff in HEIs, BIS, funders, UCAS, pre-HE etc. in relation to the scale of the current changes impacting admissions. Principles of fair admissions apply to all types of applicants (full and part time; undergraduate and postgraduate; home, EU and international; young and mature etc) and all parts of the UK.
Exercise – Admissions update The admissions cycle for 2013 entry has already started What 5 key things you would want to know more about if you were to work in admissions to undergraduate courses this year? This could cover People you need to work with/talk with - internally/externally - who? Processes and procedures - internal and external Policies - internal policies and plans, external national policies
UCAS 2012 Institutions 338 2012 courses 37,201 Total applicants 2011 2013 Institutions 700,161 337 Total acceptances 2011 2013 courses 34,714 492,067 Total applicants 2011 2012 acceptances 700,161 (as of 11 Sept) -6.4% Total acceptances 2011 compared to 2011 492,067 Source: UCAS analysis and research team
Reliable and accurate UCAS data?• Majority of the data is self reported, including GCSEs• Except exam results collected via the ‘Awarding Body Linkage’ (ABL) link• Information is checked by school/ college if the application is sent via an approved centre• Contextual information
Why use contextual data in admissions?SPA’s definition: Data used by universities and colleges which puts attainment in the context of the circumstances in which it has been obtained; currently mainly educational, geo-demographic and socio-economic background data.Who is using it? Initially courses/ institutions who select students high application numbers, far more than the places available – use to help them differentiate more fairly between good applicants Now more want to use it as it helps identify students from disadvantaged backgrounds; helps monitoring and tracking such students; and is used in reporting in access agreements
Contextual Data - Initial basket of data for HEIs, free, via UCAS Educational Background Socio-Economic BackgroundSchool performance: % of students % of students entitled to free school mealsachieving 5 A*-C GCSE including (for Scotland % registered) by Local AuthorityEnglish/Welsh and maths (or equivalentSCQF level 4 in Scotland) % of students entitled to EMA (not England)Average school “best 8” GCSE Lives in a low progression to higherperformance (England and Wales) and education neighbourhood (POLAR 2)equivalent SCQF level 4 in Scotland Basket ofAverage (mean) of QCA points per A All being supplied by UCAS for 2013 at time Datalevel (England and Wales) and per student - of application, if universities and colleges signor average points score Highers equivalent up to take it. This is work in progress.in Scotland
SPA survey: Contextual data use past, present and futureWithin other parts of the admissions process When considering applicants in Extra, Clearing or AdjustmentWhen considering borderline offer holders at Confirmation Future When assessing admission test results 2011 entry In deciding which applicants to invite for interview Past When deciding whether or not to make an offer* To make lower offers to some applicants No. of responses 0 10 20 30 40 50*The full question: “When deciding whether or not to make an offer to applicants who otherwisemeet your academic criteria”
SPA Contextual data research: Research report published on SPA website 20 February 2012 www.spa.ac.uk/contextual-data/contextual_data_research_project.html Rather than ‘levelling down’ using contextual data is about seeking excellence; it widens the pool of applicants, and aids identifying the ‘best applicants’ with the greatest potential and likelihood of a successful degree outcome. Added value of contextual data: its contribution to WP strategy and delivery of targets; consistency of approach in the application of admissions procedures; targeting of support services and bursaries. Data quality needs improving to widen out use of contextual data by more institutions
Admissions process models How should HEIs admissions function be structured to best support fair and transparent admissions decision-making? Centralised? Devolved? Mixed? Which approach to choose? Definitions – what do we mean when we use these terms?
Centralised/ devolved/ mixed admissions decision-makingAspects of variation: many devolved systems have a central policy unit most centralised systems have some devolved elements processing, decision-making, interview timetabling and other aspects of the admissions process, can take place in different parts of an HEI it is very rare for all modes and levels of study to be centralised some teams are devolved on a campus, rather than on a faculty, basis in some devolved systems decisions are made by professional administrators, not academic admissions tutors there is considerable divergence across all models in relation to who is responsible for the setting of admissions decision-making criteria.•
Internal working relationships and collaboration Key interactions and communications in admissions – who with? Recruitment and school and colleges liaison Widening participation (WP) and outreach – Access Agreements Marketing Planning Data analysts Student records Student experience/ student services/ retention Finance International recruitment and admissions Students’ Union
What is the applicant experience strategy? Built under four broad stages pre- post- application transition application application The SPA definition:• “The applicant experience encompasses all the opportunities or points of interaction between higher education and a potential student. Such experience affects whether an individual chooses to apply to higher education, whether they then become a higher education student and, crucially, whether they are retained as a higher education student. Effective information, advice and guidance links and underpins engagement through all pre-entry stages and beyond www.spa.ac.uk/applicant-experience
The applicant experience: definitionsA good applicant experience A poor applicant experience is mutually beneficial to both the is inherently detrimental to both the applicant and the higher education applicant and the higher education provider provider – both lose out prepares, informs and provides perpetuates barriers to entry equality of opportunity to enter disengages potential applicants and higher education their advisors should accurately match the risks incongruence between student student’s aims, abilities and expectations and institutional character aspirations with the character of the therefore embeds an enrolment strategy institution. leading to unfulfilled potential and therefore improves student retention increased drop-out and enhances the strategic mission of the institution
The Applicant Experience Strategy Strategic leadership in admissions is integral to an institution’s learning and teaching strategy, management and planning. SPA’s view is that an applicant experience strategy underpins the student experience, it supports the management and processes of both academic and professional staff. The benefits for the institution should be more integrated ways of working, with possible efficiency gains enhanced staff professionalism and understanding of strategy improved quality practices and procedures which may give competitive advantage, enhance reputation and aid retention ability to take advantage of external changes quickly The benefits for the applicant: transparency, a better experience
Countries in UK: Differences in SNC and Fees 2013-14 SCOTLANDNORTHERN IRELAND SCOTLAND count for SNC • Scottish/ EU ENGLANDNORTHERN SNC• NI/EU count for • Scottish/EU count for• IRELAND Rest of UK exempt ••All UK/EUexempt for Rest of UK count • Fees: SNC Free for Scottish/EU• Fees: Variable• NI/EU countfee for SNC students £1,380 to £3,465 for • Rest to £9,000 for rest of UK ••ABB+ UK exempt up of exemptions SNC • Fees: Freemargin • Biddable for Scottish/ NI/EU• Rest£9,000 for rest of• up to of UK exempt EU students ENGLAND (5,000)• Fees: Variable fee UK • up All UK/ EU count rest of UK • to £9,000 for for SNC £1,380 to £3,465 • Small specialist Arts/ • ABB+ exemptionsWALES• for NI/ EU Wales/ EU count for SNC performing institutions • Biddable margin (5,000)• Rest of UK exempt • Small specialist can opt-out Arts/• up to £9,000 for• Fees: Variable fee up to rest offor Wales/EU • Fees: all UK/EU upcan performing institutions to £3,465 UK opt-out £9,000all UK/EU up to £9,000 • Fees:• up to £9,000 for rest of UKFor cross border support for FT and PT undergraduate students see table atwww.universitiesuk.ac.uk/POLICYANDRESEARCH/POLICYAREAS/FUNDING-AND-MANAGEMENT/
Student number controls and fair admissions Major changes for 2012 entry introduced during the admissions cycle, institutions, of necessity, adapted rapidly. More changes 2013 Increased complexity and lack of transparency - schools and colleges struggling to keep up Exemptions table - inherent unfairness of the AAB+ exemptions from number control in 2012. Students not taking qualifications on the ABB+. exemptions list for 2013 will be at an even greater disadvantage Unintended consequences: HEIs use exemptions table for offer making - applicants with qualifications or combinations of qualifications not in table disadvantaged Equality issues - Disabled students, black students, students from lower- socio-economic groups and males were all identified as less likely to achieve ABB+
Worth remembering the speed of change: HE White Paper (England) ‘Students at the Heart of the System’ June 2011“We will move away from the tight number controls that constrain individual higher education institutions, so that there is a more dynamic sector”“We will manage this transition carefully to avoid unnecessary instability and keep within the overall budget”
Worth remembering the speed of change:Two main elements influencing behaviour: New fee levels impacting on applicant behaviour New number controls impacting on institution behaviourSpeed of change: Last year, there were no experts; This year HE admissions staff are the experts
How did this affect conversion? For courses subject to HEFCE SNCs: AAB+ acceptances down 15% A Level AAB+ down 17% Non-A Level AAB+ down 12% Non-AAB+ (SNC) acceptances down 15%Data: Interim assessment of UCAS acceptances by intended entry year, country of institution and qualifications held, UCAS Analysis and Research, 20 September 2012
Reviewing 2012 admissions – Outcomes from SPA event More and longer institution Clearing activity (courses and marketing), including courses not normally in Clearing, but actual enquiries quieter for many normally in Clearing Some Confirmation decisions delayed for longer Different insurance behaviour, with lower uptake Reactive and cautious approach to offer-making during year Increased entry requirements More releases into Clearing; more delays in being released More internal data analysis and reporting of numbers
Brief guide to 2013 SNCHEFCE guidance published July 2012Quick highlights: exempt Students exempted from SNC will be those achieving high grades in a variety of qualifications including ABB+ at A level Exemptions have been modified and additional qualifications have been added e.g. Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects/GPR; Access to HE Diploma Final version of the exemptions may not be out until December 2012
Brief guide to 2013 SNCHEFCE guidance published July 2012Quick highlights: core• Anyone under-recruiting by 5% or more in 2012 may have core reduced in 2013• Top-ups from foundation or HND are excluded from reduction in the core.• Protected core will be set at the lower of either: 20% of the 2011/12 population or non-ABB+ population plus 10% (medical/dental students not counted)
Brief guide to 2013 SNCHEFCE guidance published July 2012Quick highlights: margin• 5,000 margin places• Around 400 margin places will go to new providers, not previously funded by HEFCE.• New providers had to submit bids for these places by 1 October 2012.
Brief guide to 2013 SNCHEFCE guidance published July 2012Quick highlights: margin• 5,000 margin places• The rest will be redistributed automatically by HEFCE according to demand and quality measuresApprox 3,000 for those with average fee below £7,500; 1,500 for £7,500-£8,250; 100 for franchise provision at HEIs above £8,250• Institutions that do not want additional margin places need to inform HEFCE by 1 February 2013
Brief guide to 2013 SNCHEFCE guidance published July 2012Quick highlights: opting out• Opting out is still allowed.• Institutions that opted out in 2012 will be automatically opted out for 2013 unless they notified HEFCE to the contrary by 1 October 2012.• Any new eligible institutions wishing to opt out needed to submit their request by the same deadline.
Brief guide to 2013 SNCHEFCE guidance published July 2012Quick highlights: unknowns• Details/specifics still to be worked out• Impact of unexpected outcomes from 2012 SNC still to be considered – HEFCE, UCAS and Universities UK doing analysis• No guarantee guidance as of July 2012 will remain unchanged
Planning changes for 2013 Priorities for planning based on lessons learned imperative. Key priority areas at the SPA event were: Strategies for target setting and managing numbers Increased and more informed recruitment/ marketing activity Improved data analysis, monitoring and review Review of entry requirements Improved internal communication/ understanding – admissions staff work with planning and recruitment SPA will continue to support institutions on HEFCE and other changes will impact admissions
What else is impacting on admissions? Need to meet Access Agreements (or equivalents round the UK) Changes and developments to the Pre-HE curriculum – the future of GCSEs, A level reform, Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland QAA Quality Code – Admissions: being reviewed and updated 2013 Increasing competition between HEIs, and with HE in FE and new private providers, UK plc: global competition Continuing developments with regard to international student visas - UKBA - including issues arising from London Metropolitan University losing is right to award visas – ‘potential impact on higher education as a £12.5bn per year export industry for the UK’. (NUS)