AUA Development Conference 2012 - Janet GrahamPresentation Transcript
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.•
Admissions Structures – some statistics
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)