Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has backed a review of university admissions, which will consider whether students should apply to university after getting their A level results alongside other options.
In a letter sent today to universities regulator, the Office for Students, Mr Williamson welcomes the review and urged the regulator to set as high a bar as possible on quality in the sector, so universities are focused on reducing drop-out rates and ensuring the best possible value for money.
Williamson also made clear that he supported the OfS’ intention to look seriously at the rise of unconditional offers and whether ‘conditional unconditional’ offers breach consumer law.
He outlines his support for the OfS’ review of admissions to look into the benefits and challenges of a Post Qualification Applications system, where students would apply to university after receiving their A level results.
Gavin Williamson said:
Higher education has the power to change lives and is vital to producing the skills our country needs. But this is only the case when students receive a high quality education and we can be confident of the value of the collective investment from students and taxpayers.
We have to fight to keep the public trust and respect in our world-leading universities and to me that means a relentless focus on quality. That’s why I want the OfS to go even further on this, developing more rigorous and demanding quality requirements, and I give my full backing to boldly use its powers to ensure value for money.
I’m also concerned about how some universities are recruiting students, in particular a worrying rise in unconditional offers. So I welcome the OfS’ focus on whether ‘conditional unconditional’ offers are harming students’ interests and whether they breach their consumer rights.