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UoN reconfirms decision to end unconditional offers to predicted grades

Offers will still be made to offers with actual grades

Nottingham has reconfirmed its decision to end the practice of making unconditional offers to prospective students, following an announcement in September by university high-ups.

The university took the decision in December 2018 to end its High Achievers scheme, introduced in 2014 to secure and support the most talented students.

The scheme’s use of unconditional offers initially proved useful in attracting applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds and delivered modest gains in student recruitment and conversion in targeted subjects.

A press release from the university's media office argued that considering many applicants to university receive three or more unconditional offers, Nottingham's "use of unconditional offers to demonstrate the university’s faith in particularly talented applicants was no longer relevant."

The university was reportedly concerned at the variation between predicted and actual exam results for unconditional offer holders, an indication that some students may lose motivation in the run up to their final school exams.

Unconditional offers made for the 2018/19 recruitment cycle will still be honoured and the university will continue to make unconditional offers where applicants have completed their qualifications and hold their results.

A spokesperson told The Tab it is standard practice to award an unconditional offer to students if they have already passed the grade requirement for their chosen course. An unconditional offer would not be made if the student has only been predicted grades sufficing the entry requirement.

In response to the decision, Nottingham University's Registrar Dr Paul Greatrix said: “Selective universities like Nottingham will always compete legitimately for talented applicants. However, we want everyone to be fully confident that they are admitted purely on their merits and potential. That is why we ended the use of unconditional offers.

“While it is right that autonomous institutions should set and regulate their own admissions policies, we hope that colleagues across the sector will consider joining the growing number of institutions who are ending this particular practice.

“Of course, the most accurate way of securing applications lies in the sector adopting a different approach to the admissions process. We are keen to learn the outcomes of the UUK review of admissions and work with the opportunities it may present."