University of Nottingham to stop making unconditional offers

ITV news has reported that the University of Nottingham will stop making unconditional offers to all applicants from this September, unless they already hold their qualifications.

They say that although the offers were previously used to attract applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds, the practice is now so widespread, and students can receive so many unconditional offers, they believe it’s no longer useful in demonstrating faith in a candidate’s ability.

They’re also concerned that students who have unconditional offers are getting worse A-level results than they were predicted – suggesting that they are losing motivation to succeed in their exams.

The university says it will honour unconditional offers already made, and will continue to make unconditional offers where applicants have completed their qualifications and hold their results.

The announcement comes just days after the Office for Students (OfS) warned higher education providers indiscriminate use of unconditional offers is akin to pressure selling and could put them in breach of consumer law.

It said that,

  • the number of offers with an unconditional component made to 18-year-olds has risen from 3,000 in 2013 to 117,000 in 2018.
  • applicants who accept an unconditional offer are more likely to miss their predicted A-level grades by two or more grades.
2nd February 2019

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