Well I personally didn't slack off revision. Was given an unconditional cos I did well at the interview and then got AAA*. There is this annoying stigma that everyone who gets unconditional just coasts the rest of the year. It was also my favourite uni in the first place. I got unconditional from another uni but that wouldn't have made me want to go there since I didn't like it. Most of the pressure to slack off or whatever comes from other students 'oh you have an unconditional you don't even need to be here' 'why are you stressed' etc etc
I'd say bribery is putting it mildly - they're a deliberate attempt to manipulate applicants into making choices against their best interests and to exploit insecurity.
I'd like to see schools/colleges boycotting universities that try to manipulate their students in this way (obviously unless that specific course/university was the applicants top choice regardless).
Feels like a bit of a double-edged sword really. One one hand, they make the most stressful part of a student's academic career (A-level results) a lot less of a worry. On the other hand, it's very much a University of Bums on Seats sort-of policy, it shows how certain unis are less concerned about students actually learning anything and more about just getting them through the door in order to get tuition fees.
I definitely think it's a good thing to investigate unconditionals, hopefully this probe will help us explore the issue properly.
I've met people at my university that received unconditional offers and firmed it even though some admittedly preferred another uni.
As PQ said, it just plays on people's insecurity.
Ambivalent. Its a competitive market. Some analysis on whether unconditional candidates perform significantly worse might be interesting. If they do then there might be some cause for concern. They still form a relatively small % (an increase of 17x from a small base can be misleading) of offers though and I expect many of them are ignored. If candidates perform poorly then the overall rep of the uni will eventually decline..
Imo there ought to be some compulsory education for sixth formers about choosing unis and the pitfalls of student debt etc..
I do agree that it's bribery, on the other hand I find it hard to blame the universities when this is a pretty obvious consequence of the government trying to turn higher education into a market place. They've turned university into a commodity, and they're now shocked when universities are competing for funds.