For many of us involved in higher education, the arrival of summer signals the start of our silly season, with the exception of anything to do with admissions, which are always far from silly and tend to be rather intense. Summer 2012 may prove to be one of our most intense, and least silly yet.
This summer promises to be a voyage of discovery for students, parents, universities and policy makers. The introduction of a market means that as we enter this period, uncertainty is the name of the game. But by the end of the summer, the picture for a whole range of policies will have become a little clearer. We’ll be looking at the implications of the government’s plans to control student numbers by allowing English universities to take unlimited numbers of students who achieve AAB or better in their A-levels. We will also examine the effects of ‘core and margin’ policy (which took 20,000 places out of the system, allowing institutions charging under £7,500 to bid for them, with approximately 10,000 places going to further education colleges).
We will also be dealing with the horrendously complex implications of the cross-border flows of students and funding, and the impact of the changes on fair admissions, social mobility and contextual data. And last but not least, the possible effects on mature and part-time students.
Given the scale and pace of the changes taking place, Universities UK has decided to bring you our expert analysis, insight and commentary on the developments this summer on a weekly basis.
We’ll aim to have a blog here every Thursday.
The first will be a blog from our data team on the latest UCAS application figures, out later today.