The Peel building at The University of Salford. Image credit: Parrot of Doom. License link: (

The PA Education Correspondent Alison Kershaw has released a report regarding the current state of the University admissions process.

Ms Kershaw has reported that more than half of university applicants believe that institutions should provide offers after students have received exam results.

It also highlights the fact that more than 50% of applicants say their offers made them become more ‘complacent’ to studying for good grades.

Additionally, the information in the report talks about students who received ‘contextual’ offers.

This is where factors including background and schooling are taken into consideration.

It has been revealed that they were significantly more relaxed towards studying.

These findings were published by the Vice-Chancellors Group, Universities UK, and contribute to a mass review being conducted by the organisation.

Over 1,500 people took part in a poll that included adults who applied for universities and colleges from 2015-2019.

The poll resulted in 55% of students admitting that receiving university offers made them ‘complacent’ with studying towards better grades.

Additionally, 56% of participants believed the application process should begin after students receive their exam results.

Salford University responds.

University of Salford logo.
Labelled for reuse.

In light of the recent pressures above, we contacted the University of Salford Communications team to discuss their stance on the application process.

John McCarthy Executive Director of Marketing, Recruitment and External Relations said; “The use of (a) contextual offer making is one that is well practised across the sector and allows universities to be flexible in considering an applicant’s complete profile rather than just prior or current academic attainment.”

“The application processes is the same for all students, irrespective of background or ethnic origin.”

We also talked about the idea of postponing offers until students have received their college results.

“There have been discussions across the sector for many years about the development of a post-application system.

“Arguments for moving from our current process to the PQA are finely balanced and would require some significant changes both within universities and schools, especially in relation to the timing of examinations such as A-Levels and the associated publication of the results.”

UCAS forwarded a statement to us regarding the reports and issues by saying “It’s welcome news that most students agree the current application process is fair.”

“This year we launched our new UCAS Hub, meaning that for the first time, all students will have access to online personalised information and advice to support them as they consider all their options.”

They also highlighted their anticipation for some universities to change and adapt their admissions process. “This year, we’re expecting some universities’ offer-making strategies to change, though we need to ensure that the admissions process remains fair and transparent for years to come. We are already exploring innovative reforms to the admissions process, including how changing when students receive offers could bring benefits”


For the UCAS deadline of January 15th 2020, over 400,000 applications were submitted. With 316,530 of those being from a white ethnic group.

Above is an infographic displaying the University Applicant Figures of 2020.

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