Higher Education Application Process Facts and Figures

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Higher Education Application Process Facts and Figures

  1. 1. Higher Education Application Process Facts and Figures The Basics The Application The Tariff Unit Grades Admissions Tests Offers and decisions Track Extra Clearing Adjustment
  2. 2. Facts and Figures (1) <ul><li>UCAS are the main UK body through which applications for nearly all higher education courses are processed. </li></ul><ul><li>320 Universities/colleges are in UCAS. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 50,000 distinct courses are listed. </li></ul><ul><li>Last year there were over 2,387,415 applications, from 639,860 applicants. </li></ul><ul><li>But only 481, 854 applicants got places. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Facts and Figures (2) <ul><li>Out of the 481,854 applicants placed; </li></ul><ul><li>399,283 came through the main scheme </li></ul><ul><li>5,619 through Extra </li></ul><ul><li>47,673 through Clearing </li></ul><ul><li>And 28,897 went direct to University. </li></ul><ul><li>35,088 came from the East Midlands. This is up 10,000 on five years ago. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Facts and Figures (3) <ul><li>Most popular university is University of Manchester with over 56,000 applicants last year. </li></ul><ul><li>2nd is University of Leeds with 52,000. </li></ul><ul><li>3 rd is Manchester Metropolitan with 47,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Edinburgh University is fourth with 46,000. </li></ul><ul><li>Nottingham University is fifth with 45,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Last year Lincoln had just over 12,000 applications. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Facts and Figures (4) <ul><li>Most popular course areas include Business & Admin, Social Studies, Design Studies, subjects allied to Medicine and Biological sciences. </li></ul><ul><li>Most difficult to get into are generally Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary science courses, averaging over a one in nine chance of being successful. </li></ul><ul><li>Most difficult is Classical Greek at 23 - 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Easiest to get into are Forestry and </li></ul><ul><li>Metallurgy at 1.6 - 1 </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Basics (1) <ul><li>There is only one way of applying to UCAS </li></ul><ul><li>Online called ‘Apply’ </li></ul><ul><li>There is only one route for all applications. </li></ul><ul><li>This route is simultaneous – all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) see the application form at the same time. They do not see the other choices on the form, there are no preferences . </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Basics (2) <ul><li>Applicants initially have up to 5 choices and can be for any courses at any university. </li></ul><ul><li>Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science applications must be with UCAS by 15 October </li></ul><ul><li>Other applications to UCAS by 15 January </li></ul><ul><li>However applications for Art and design courses may be accepted up to 24 March 2010, applicants must check the UCAS website ‘Course Search’ for application deadlines. </li></ul><ul><li>Applications after 30 June go straight into Clearing </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Basics (3) <ul><li>UCAS send all the applications to the HEI admission departments. They will usually liaise very closely with all other depts of the HEI. </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions should be made within 3 weeks, usually it only takes a couple of days. </li></ul><ul><li>Many offers are made without the HEI having seen the applicant at interview. </li></ul><ul><li>For practical Art and Design courses the applicant is almost always interviewed or the portfolio seen, even if only informally, but this will be indicated when this choice is made on Apply. </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Application (1) <ul><li>It’s all on the UCAS Apply website. </li></ul><ul><li>The most important part of the application (apart from the predicted grades) is the personal statement. It’s the only place the application can be personalised in any way. </li></ul><ul><li>There are 47 lines allocated to the statement. This equates to half a standard page of A4. </li></ul><ul><li>The electronic forms automatically check standard personal details, so it is virtually impossible to make a stupid mistake. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Application (2) <ul><li>Applicants must sell themselves through the statement. This is the opportunity to blow their trumpets - as loudly as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Must show enthusiasm, motivation, aspirations, planning. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure it flows, is it easy to read? </li></ul><ul><li>Check spelling and grammar. Applicants shouldn’t talk about topics or use words they’re not sure about. Don’t make jokes! </li></ul><ul><li>Use paragraphs and headings. Legibility matters. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Application (3) <ul><li>Read the course entry profiles before filling in the statement. </li></ul><ul><li>Write it, test it, re-write it, test it again. Ask someone else to read it. </li></ul><ul><li>Why has what you have done made you the person you are? Give evidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use personal statements you could find/buy on-line. UCAS has a sophisticated checker that will find these. The HEIs you have chosen will be told what has been found. </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Application (4) <ul><li>After you have sent it to UCAS they will send out the ‘form’ to all your choice Universities. </li></ul><ul><li>UCAS will also send you a Welcome letter. Don’t lose it! This is important as it has your codes/passwords for using ‘Track’. </li></ul><ul><li>Once offers have been made UCAS will tell you when you must reply by. Keep checking ‘Track’ to make sure you don’t miss anything. </li></ul><ul><li>If you have offers think seriously about your choice - you will have to stick by it. </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Tariff (1) <ul><li>The Tariff is a points system used to report achievement for entry to HE in a numerical format. </li></ul><ul><li>It provides agreed equivalences between different types of qualification. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no ceiling to the number of points that can be accumulated. </li></ul><ul><li>Achievement at lower level will be subsumed into the higher level, i.e. AS into A level </li></ul><ul><li>A very wide range of qualifications attract points. Check the UCAS website for more details. </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Tariff (2) <ul><li>Not mandatory for HEIs to use Tariff </li></ul><ul><li>Offers may include a mixture of points and qualification; ‘260 points with a B in Geography’. </li></ul><ul><li>Applicants must check the offer extremely carefully as things can be included and excluded i.e. AS results, Key skills points, General Studies results, music exams. </li></ul><ul><li>Points total based on post-16 programmes. </li></ul><ul><li>Check the entry profiles on website as they say whether a tariff score is preferred. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Unit Grades <ul><li>Some Admissions tutors have asked for information about which units applicants have taken as part of their courses </li></ul><ul><li>These will be used in ‘near-miss’ situations and for very competitive courses. </li></ul><ul><li>Applicants will have the opportunity / requirement to provide this info at the point of application. </li></ul><ul><li>Later grades are sent by the awarding bodies. </li></ul><ul><li>If applicants are re-sitting exams taken in Year 12 they must find out what their institution policy is on certificating grades. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Admissions Tests (1) <ul><li>Applicants for Medical, Dentistry, Veterinary science, Law and a few other courses may/will have to sit admissions tests. </li></ul><ul><li>They are to help HEIs differentiate between applicants. </li></ul><ul><li>For entry in 2011 the registration for tests should be made as soon as possible in the autumn term (2010) as the tests will take place during that term. (UKCAT by 8 th October). </li></ul><ul><li>There is a fee for the tests of between £40-£80. </li></ul><ul><li>Not all universities ask applicants to sit these tests, check on the UCAS, HEI or Test Organisation websites for full details. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Admissions Tests (2) <ul><li>Example One </li></ul><ul><li>The National Admissions test for Law (LNAT) has been designed to test an applicant’s potential for law degree courses. </li></ul><ul><li>The test is in 2 sections. The first, for 80 minutes, is a multiple choice comprehension-type test. The second (40 mins) is an essay question. </li></ul><ul><li>Sample papers can be found at www.lnat.ac.uk </li></ul><ul><li>It is recommended that applicants read a daily broadsheet paper beforehand to familiarise themselves with world events . </li></ul>
  18. 18. Admissions Tests (3) <ul><li>Example Two </li></ul><ul><li>The Biomedical Admission Test (BMAT) is designed to assess an applicant’s potential to study an undergraduate degree. </li></ul><ul><li>These are not tests to find out whether someone would be a good Doctor/Dentist/Vet! </li></ul><ul><li>There are 3 elements to the test: Aptitude & skills, Scientific knowledge & Application and Writing tasks. The test takes 2 hours. </li></ul><ul><li>www.bmat.org.uk for more details. </li></ul><ul><li>Dentistry or Medicine go to www.ukcat.ac.uk </li></ul>
  19. 19. Offers and decisions (1) <ul><li>Offers the HEIs make fall into 3 categories: </li></ul><ul><li>Unconditional offer (U) </li></ul><ul><li>Conditional offer (C) </li></ul><ul><li>No offer (R) </li></ul><ul><li>Out of five possible offers an applicant may only carry forward two – one firm, one insurance: </li></ul><ul><li>Unconditional firm acceptance (UF) </li></ul><ul><li>Conditional firm acceptance (CF) </li></ul><ul><li>Unconditional Insurance (UI) </li></ul><ul><li>Conditional insurance (CI) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Offers and decisions (2) <ul><li>Applicants must reply to their offers by the date UCAS tell them on Track. </li></ul><ul><li>If an applicant has no offers or has rejected their offers they can go into ‘Extra’ and make one application at a time until they are offered a course. If they still have no offers by 30 June (also the very last date for applications) they will go into ‘Clearing’. </li></ul><ul><li>Vacancies for Clearing are in a variety of places but for Extra and to get the most up to date information use the UCAS website. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Offers and decisions (3) <ul><li>Where do you really want to go - make that the firm choice. Choose a lower offer as your insurance choice, but make sure you would be happy to go there. </li></ul><ul><li>Grades are irrelevant for your first choice (F) but imperative for your insurance (I). </li></ul><ul><li>UCAS can change replies up to 10 days after receiving them - but get it right first time. </li></ul><ul><li>You can reply online through ‘Track‘ or by phone with your application number ready. </li></ul><ul><li>No offers? Don’t panic, use UCAS Extra. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Track <ul><li>Applicants can follow the progress of their application on the UCAS website. </li></ul><ul><li>They need their application number and password to access their record. </li></ul><ul><li>It should be used to find out about and reply to offers, enter Extra and get bang up-to-date information about where in the process their application has reached. </li></ul><ul><li>I would strongly advise applicants to check Track regularly after their application has been sent. Things can happen quickly. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Extra <ul><li>Extra is for those students who do not get any offers during the first round or decline all their offers. 5,619 used it successfully last year. </li></ul><ul><li>It means they can continue applying throughout the summer term rather than having to wait for Clearing. Universities like this quieter time! </li></ul><ul><li>Applicants must apply for one course at a time and wait for the reply. Vacancies are listed on the UCAS website. </li></ul><ul><li>This system can only be used through Track from 25 Feb to 30 June when Clearing starts. </li></ul><ul><li>Eligible applicants will be informed on Track. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Clearing (1) <ul><li>30 June - last date for applications other than through Clearing. </li></ul><ul><li>1 July - Clearing Entry Numbers begin being posted on Track. </li></ul><ul><li>6 July – last date to apply through Extra </li></ul><ul><li>19th August 2010 - Publication of most results and Full Clearing service begins. </li></ul><ul><li>20 September - Last date to apply for courses starting in 2010. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Clearing (2) <ul><li>Applicants should check their Clearing details on Track. From 19 August it has their result information on it. </li></ul><ul><li>Check vacancy information on the UCAS website. </li></ul><ul><li>Applicants themselves should contact HEIs by phone - not their mums! </li></ul><ul><li>Applicants will be asked for their Clearing number when they ring. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Clearing (3) <ul><li>Applicants must ask themselves where they want to go and what course they want to study. Three years is a long time. </li></ul><ul><li>They shouldn’t necessarily opt for the first vacancy they see. </li></ul><ul><li>They can still turn an offer down, but they will have wasted everyone’s time. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s important to be quick off the mark but applicants must be prepared to answer questions and sell themselves, even to go to see the staff at their chosen University. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Clearing (4) <ul><li>Admissions tutors will ask applicants questions such as ‘Why do you want to come here?, What interests you about this course?’ </li></ul><ul><li>Applicant must have good answers ready. </li></ul><ul><li>If the HEI says it will check the clearing details it probably means they will make an offer. HEIs will contact UCAS directly. </li></ul><ul><li>If all OK the institution will let UCAS know. </li></ul><ul><li>UCAS then produces a letter confirming place, but keep checking on Track. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Adjustment <ul><li>A period of up to five days after the A level results day during which applicants whose results exceed the firmly accepted offer may research and choose another course without giving up their confirmed place. </li></ul><ul><li>This is entirely optional. </li></ul><ul><li>It is unlikely there will be any places left on the most competitive courses. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Applicant Journey <ul><li>Do your research! Use your time now! </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a course and HEI. Visit them. </li></ul><ul><li>Apply as early as possible in the autumn term. You have up to 5 choices. </li></ul><ul><li>Offers. Use Track to check the progress and reply to offers. If necessary use Extra. </li></ul><ul><li>Results. When results come out check Track to see if you’ve got your place. </li></ul><ul><li>Next Steps. You may need to use Clearing. If so, be ready and act quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Starting Uni or College. Make arrangements – accommodation, money, equipment etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Good Luck! </li></ul>
  30. 30. Resources <ul><li>The UCAS website is an invaluable source of information and advice. You must use www.ucas.com and www.ucas.tv </li></ul><ul><li>There is also very good financial information on www.studentfinance.direct.gov.uk </li></ul><ul><li>www.aimhigher.ac.uk takes you to the national Higher Education site and is very useful. </li></ul><ul><li>www.unistats.direct.gov.uk – allows you to compare courses and universities. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Degree course offers’, ‘The Times Good University Guide’, ‘What do Graduates do?’ and other titles available at Connexions centres. </li></ul>

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