Morning, Thursday, 27th January 2022
This conference will consider priorities for the admissions system in light of confirmation of the Government’s intentions to move forward as soon as possible with admissions reform, as well as further developments, including:
- the consultation on a move to a post-qualification admissions (PQA) system, with the Government expected to formally respond in due course
- the publication of the UCAS report, Reimagining UK Admissions, which advocated a move to a post-qualification offer (PQO) system
- the admissions reviews led by the OfS and UUK
It is an opportunity for delegates to assess the impact of COVID-19 on university admissions in light of recent publications from the DfE which show an increasing gap between the progression rates of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers, as well as research from UCL which found predicting A-Level grades to be a ‘near-impossible task’ likely to harm high achievers from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The conference will look at the impact of these developments and will consider what reforms are necessary to address these challenges, along with the lessons that can be learned from international best practice in post-qualification systems, with a case study from the Republic of Ireland.
Discussion is also structured to bring out wider areas of potential for admissions reform and to illuminate how to ensure broader student groups are also considered, taking into account priorities for mature and international students.
The agenda includes latest thinking on:
- the full range of options for admissions reform
- the challenges presented by PQA models and how best to overcome them
- supporting and empowering all students throughout reform
- making sure reform is UK-wide and takes into account priorities for devolved nations
The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from the Department for Education; the Department for the Economy, NI; and the Welsh Government.