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Universities: Admissions

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL13148, tabled on 28 January 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government which universities allocated places to applicants on an unconditional basis in each year since 2010; and for each of those universities, what percentage of total offers were unconditional in each of those years.

Answered on

11 February 2019

Applicants to full-time undergraduate degrees apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). UCAS have published data on the number of unconditional offers and the proportion of offers made that were unconditional since 2010. The data covers offers made to 18 year olds from England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The table shows the number of unconditional offers made and the proportion of offers made that were unconditional to 18 year old applicants from England, Northern Ireland, and Wales.

Year

Number of unconditional offers

Proportion of offers made that were unconditional

2010

5,105

0.6%

2011

3,355

0.4%

2012

2,605

0.3%

2013

2,985

0.4%

2014

12,115

1.4%

2015

23,410

2.5%

2016

36,825

3.9%

2017

51,615

5.3%

2018

67,915

7.1%

Source: UCAS End of Cycle reports 2017 and 2018:

https://www.ucas.com/file/196151/download?token=jzRAy4kS.

https://www.ucas.com/file/140406/download?token=pfzLAKRe.

Notes

  1. UCAS defines an unconditional offer as a provider decision to grant a place to an applicant that is not subject to the applicant satisfying academic and/or other criteria.A conditional unconditional offer is an offer made by a provider which was originally conditional, but becomes unconditional if the applicant selects that offer as their firm (first) choice. By definition, conditional unconditional offers that are selected as a firm choice by the applicant become unconditional and are also included in the unconditional offers group.Offer with an unconditional component are defined as an offers showing as having an element of unconditional offer-making, that is, unconditional offers plus conditional unconditional offers that have not been selected as firm (and hence remain conditional unconditional).
  2. Figures provided in the table are based on the offer status at the 30 June application deadline.
  3. Data on conditional unconditional offers, and offers that had an unconditional component have not been included in the table due to data not being published prior to 2013.

Information regarding which universities allocated places to applicants on an unconditional basis and for each of those universities, what percentage of total offers were unconditional in each of those years is not held centrally.

However, on 31 January UCAS published data on unconditional offers by each provider for the first time as part of their 2018 End of Cycle data releases. For each provider, UCAS have published data on the number and proportion of offers that were unconditional, conditional unconditional, and offers that had an unconditional component since 2013. Further information can be found at: https://www.ucas.com/data-and-analysis/undergraduate-statistics-and-reports/ucas-undergraduate-end-cycle-reports/2018-ucas-undergraduate-unconditional-offer-making-provider-reports – then select ‘Individual 2018 provider level unconditional offer-making CSVs’.

The government are concerned by the increase in unconditional offers, and have asked the higher education (HE) regulator, the Office for Students (OfS), to monitor and review how they are being used by HE providers. Where institutions cannot justify the rising numbers being offered we have made clear to the OfS that they should use the full range of powers at their disposal to take action.