Top unis dish out more unconditional offers than ever before

They let anyone in these days

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Over 20 universities are handing out unconditional offers in a desperate bid to secure places.

It is thought a fifth of unis are upgrading conditional offers to unconditional to try and persuade sixth-formers to choose them as their firm choice.

And some are even offering school leavers cash to persuade them not to go elsewhere.

More than quadruple the number of unconditional offers granted last year are being offered to students applying to the likes of Birmingham, Nottingham, Queen Mary University in London and Sussex – as well as Liverpool Hope, Leeds Beckett and Sheffield Hallam.

Smug freshers are raking in the unconditional offers

Smug freshers are raking in the unconditional offers

Aston University in Birmingham has already dished out 300 unconditionals to “strong candidates” who are yet to confirm Aston as their first choice.

The sceptical move comes as the cap on student numbers is lifted, increasing competition between universities.

Only 3,000 unconditional offers were awarded in 2013, rising to a whopping 12,000 last year and expected to be even higher for this year’s intake.

Top unis like Birmingham are trying to fill places

Top unis like Birmingham are trying to fill places

But some critics are worried the lax entry requirements will affect students later on when they come to apply for grad schemes.

Mike Nicholson, Head of Admissions at Bath University, told The Sunday Times: “It would be a tragedy if candidates found their more relaxed attitude to their A-Levels resulted in them failing to secure a place on a graduate scheme several years later.”

Lexie Williams, who has received an unconditional offer from Nottingham to study History, said: “I didn’t expect an unconditional offer.

“It blew me away and I was very happy, but it doesn’t mean I’ve eased off.”