University entrance system could be overhauled so students only apply after they have their A-level grades

The higher education watchdog, The Office for Students (OfS), is to launch a major review later this year into the university admissions system. The Telegraph reports.

It follows concern from ministers that universities have been engaging in “unethical” practises such as “pressure selling” unconditional offers to students.

A review is likely to consider whether a post-qualifications admission system should be set up, where students only apply to university after receiving their A-levels.

This would remove the problem of institutions handing out unconditional offers which can lead to students slacking with their school work since they have a university place guaranteed.

It would also solve the solve the issue of unreliable predicted grades, where universities complain that teachers make unrealistic forecasts about what students are capable of achieving.

Damian Hinds, the education secretary, said on Monday that he welcomes the review, adding that the rise in unconditional offers “may be symptomatic of wider issues within university admissions processes”.

In a letter to Sir Michael Barber, the chair of the OFS, he said: “There is a need to establish whether current admissions processes serve the best interests of students”.

The lifting of student number controls in England in 2015 gave universities free rein to recruit as many undergraduates as they see fit – but the move has led to accusations that they now act like businesses, seeking to maximise their revenue by recruiting as many students as possible.

Read more University entrance system could be overhauled so students only apply after they have their A-level grades 

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