Admissions Trends and Behaviours Ian Blenkharn, Head of Admissions and Registry Services Topics for discussion 2013 cycle so far Reflections on 2012 To ABB or not to ABB 2014 cycle Fees and Funding Fair access Contextual data Summary 2013 cycle so far… Total UCAS applications up 3.5% (15 Jan) Trend for later applications up to 15 January deadline – more research? International applications are up, as are mature student applications – although mature student applications were down considerably in 2012. Source: UCAS The Exeter picture Huge increase in applications – Home/EU undergraduate applications currently up 29% (37% if you include applications to our new Medical School). Increases across almost every subject area and across all campuses – in Exeter and in Cornwall. Quality of applications also appears to be up. The increase in the number of AAA+/IB36+ students is ahead of our increase in applications. Reflections on 2012 A ‘perfect storm’ for universities Fall in application rates, fewer deferrals from 2011, tougher marking in A Levels First year of new AAB+ controls – see later slides Some advantages for students – more choice/capacity at Confirmation, Clearing and Adjustment. We saw much more movement of students in this period. To ABB or not to ABB…. New student number controls introduced in 2012. HEIs now able to recruit as many ‘high quality’ students as they like. Definition of ‘high quality’ is ABB+ or equivalent – but there are plenty of exceptions. This has been relaxed from AAB+ in 2012. Because of under-recruitment across the sector in 2012, HEFCE have been able to be more generous with their SNC allocations – good for fairness and transparency! 2014 cycle Still going to be a lot of unknowns about 2014 entry. Impact of UCAS reforms to application process? Fee/funding levels won’t be agreed until close to the start of the recruitment cycle. Could be further changes to student number control system – relaxation to BBB+? Will there continue to be demand for places….? Fees and Funding No fees paid upfront, costs covered by a loan Loans repaid at £21k earnings threshold Real rate of interest – RPI plus up to 3% Fees charged up to £9k (plus inflationary increase?) Grant support available – income threshold of £42k National Scholarships programme Institutional scholarships/bursaries Fair Access Confusion between ‘Fair Access’ and ‘Widening Participation’ Milburn’s Social Mobility Report – particular focus on research intensive / selective institutions Fair Access primarily focused on admissions and assessing potential (Hoare, 2010) Contextual Data What is it? Additional information to aid and support the decision making process and improve inclusivity Evidence based judgement Applicants may not be treated in exactly the same way as different factors maybe be considered, all applicants are individuals with different backgrounds. Educational Factors School/college progression rates School performance at GCSE Progression from year 11 to FE Average QCA points per qualification Personal Factors Disability Ethnicity Age/experience (eg Mature Students) Socio-economic Factors In receipt of free school meals Living in a low progression neighbourhood Socio-economic class IIM-VII In care for longer than three months Exeter’s use of contextual data Very much focused on educational factors: See http://www.exeter.ac.uk/undergraduate/applications/policy/ Evidence-based approach, reviewed annually Part of our holistic assessment of an applicant’s potential to succeed Questions…?