Unconditional offers soar as universities race for top students

The Sunday Times is reporting that at least 20 universities in England and Wales are this year making “unconditional offers”, four times the number in the past year…

The paper suggests the move is by universities looking to compete for the best-qualified candidates and reports that some sixth-formers have been told their conditional offers will be “upgraded” to unconditional ones if they confirm the university as their first choice.

As an example, the report claims that Aston University has contacted about 300 students yet to confirm their first-choice institution offering to change their offer to unconditional. 

The report suggests some critics fear unconditional offers will result in students “going off the boil” before their A-levels, which begin next month. It quotes Mike Nicholson, head of admissions at Bath, as saying:

“It would be a tragedy if candidates found their more relaxed attitude to their A-levels resulted in them failing to secure a place on a graduate scheme several years later.”


What do you make of this substantial growth in the number of unconditional offers being made?

As a parent or teacher, would you be relived or concerned if a student received one of these ahead of taking his or her A-levels?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. I got an unconditional offer and it made me want to leave school. I was so sick of proving myself over and over doing the same things: OK, we learn different content, but it’s still a learn-test-repeat experience. In the end I was too scared of the implications and took a different offer that at least gave me a challenge with the A-Levels… a reason for completing them.

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