Nottingham ends unconditional offers

Trent Building 
29 Jan 2019 09:52:18.407

The University of Nottingham will cease making unconditional offers to all undergraduate applicants from this September, unless they already hold their qualifications. 
The University took the decision in December to end its High Achievers scheme, introduced in 2014 to secure and support the most talented students. This will affect those applying for September 2020 entry onwards.

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. 

However, with many applicants now receiving three or more unconditional offers from different universities, Nottingham’s use of unconditional offers to demonstrate the University’s faith in particularly talented applicants is no longer relevant.

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The University is also concerned at the reported variation between predicted and actual A-level results for some students who hold unconditional offers from universities, indicating that some pupils may lose motivation at a critical period in their studies. 

The University believes that all students should maintain their independent study skills right through their schooling to ready them for the challenge of studying at Nottingham.

University of Nottingham 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 are ending 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 post-qualification admissions system – a concept that Nottingham has supported for more than a decade.”
The University will honour unconditional offers made in the current recruitment cycle, and will continue to make unconditional offers where applicants have completed their qualifications and hold their results. The University is also exploring greater use of contextual offers as a more effective means of supporting its focus on attracting applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the  2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer, proud of our Athena SWAN silver award, and a key industry partner- locally and globally.

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Liz Cass - Head of Media Relations

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 748 4734 Location: University Park

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