Westminster Higher Education Forum

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7538736244

The future of the UK university admissions system - unconditional offers, post-qualification admissions, and options for reform

Morning, Tuesday, 19th May 2020


This conference will bring together key policymakers and stakeholders - including universities, colleges, schools, awarding bodies and students' groups - to discuss the future shape of the university admissions system.

It is timed to take place with:

  • the Office for Students’ (OfS) conducting on its wide-ranging review of the system - which will include the possibility of moving to a post-qualifications admissions (PQA) model; and
  • a separate major sector-led review of the system due to report in spring, with initial research from UUK indicating that two in five students would make different decisions on their degree choices if they could make choices again.


There will be keynote contributions from:

  • Helen Thorne, Director of External Relations, UCAS.

Further confirmed speakers include: Sharon Hague, Pearson; Nicola Hall, The Careers and Enterprise Company; Smita Jamdar, Martineau; and Piers Wilkinson, National Union of Students.

The agenda

  • The OfS review of the admissions system - focus, key areas for consideration , and next steps on the timeline;
  • Key findings from the Universities UK fair admissions review;
  • The university admissions system as it stands - a context and responding to the reviews;
  • Reforming the existing system - addressing unconditional offers, widening participation and ensuring transparency in information available to prospective students;
  • Lessons learned from comparing admissions systems around the world; and
  • Examining the case for a post-qualifications admissions (PQA) system.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

Westminster Higher Education Forum conferences typically attract strong interest from policymakers. This seminar will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with a range of interested officials from the Department for Education who have reserved places.

Keynote Speaker

Helen Thorne

Director of External Relations, UCAS


Baroness Finn


Smita Jamdar

Partner, Head of Education Team, Martineau

Sharon Hague

SVP UK Schools, Pearson

Nicola Hall

Director of Education, The Careers and Enterprise Company

Piers Wilkinson

Disabled Students' Officer, National Union of Students

Rebecca Hollington

Head of UK Student Recruitment, University of Wolverhampton

Jenny Brown

Headteacher, City of London School for Girls