Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta

MPs to probe unconditional offers from universities watch

    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PQ)
    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).
    What about Scottish students who already have their 5th year highers? I'd say an unconditional is only bribery if it is 'unconditional if firm', which is blatant bribery.

    Also, why would a college or school hinder someone's choices? Never in a million years will that happen.
    • Section Leader
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    But I note this quote from a head teacher is factually incorrect:
    "BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme spoke to one sixth-form head who said: "This is a form of bribery. This is a university, for whatever reason, saying to a teenager, 'Choose us as your first offer and we will accept you on to our course, including the £27,000 worth of tuition fees that your place brings with you, and you don't necessarily need to sit the exams in the summer.'""

    Exams need to be sat, they just don't need to be passed.
    • Community Assistant
    • Political Ambassador
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    Political Ambassador
    As others have said, universities now operate as a business and what I don't like is the wave of offer changes from conditional to unconditional in around about March when they don't get as many firm choices back as they want.

    (Original post by 999tigger)
    It's a competitive market.
    Should it be a market? I'd say the whole sector is suffering right now from marketisation.
    • Community Assistant
    • Political Ambassador
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    Political Ambassador
    (Original post by hannxm)
    Nope. They give unconditional offers if they feel the student is good enough - what the student does is not their problem.
    How does that explain the conditional offers that change to unconditionals a few months later when the uni realises they may not fill their places?:curious:
    • Very Important Poster
    Online

    19
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by 04MR17)
    As others have said, universities now operate as a business and what I don't like is the wave of offer changes from conditional to unconditional in around about March when they don't get as many firm choices back as they want.

    Should it be a market? I'd say the whole sector is suffering right now from marketisation.
    That is naive. Ofc it is a market and always has been. Without students then the uni would close down. Its up to them to compete by making the most attractive offer. TSR wouldnt survive if it wasnt a market as many of their major sponsors would vanish.
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    It's quite clear from the context of the thread and the article that this is about unconditional-if-firmed offers and not unconditional offers to applicants who have met entry requirements before application.
    (Original post by SocialStudiesETC)
    Also, why would a college or school hinder someone's choices? Never in a million years will that happen.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/2818263.stm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Univer...ns_controversy
    "The controversy resulted in applications to Bristol falling for the first time in a decade in the 2004/05 admissions cycle."
    • Community Assistant
    • Political Ambassador
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    Political Ambassador
    (Original post by 999tigger)
    That is naive. Ofc it is a market and always has been. Without students then the uni would close down. Its up to them to compete by making the most attractive offer. TSR wouldnt survive if it wasnt a market as many of their major sponsors would vanish.
    I disagree. Since 1988/early 90s with the conversion of polytechnics the industry has exploded, helped along by New Labour's policies. Previously a much smaller proportion of people attended a much smaller group of universities, and unconditionals weren't much of a thing (comparatively). Number of consumers (students) has risen along with their choice. The changes to tuition fees mean students are now consumers, and as a result have (to an extent) consumer rights. This is marketisation.

    For once I'm not concerned about the survival of TSR in connection to this debate.
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    I'm not a fan; I know Birmingham, Nottingham and Lancaster University practise this.

    A lot of students have self-doubt and unis guaranteeing that they'll take them in with poor A Levels are taking advantage of that mindset - they may also take a less appealing university that doesn't cater to their interests because of it. That, and the prospect of them being lazy about their A Levels when they have a guaranteed offer.

    "conditional if firmed" is also blatant bribery. It's typically used to capture students whose grades significantly surpass that institution's requirements - eg Birmingham offering unconditional to an A*A*A student in a scenario where the student wouldn't firm it.
    • Very Important Poster
    Online

    19
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by 04MR17)
    I disagree. Since 1988/early 90s with the conversion of polytechnics the industry has exploded, helped along by New Labour's policies. Previously a much smaller proportion of people attended a much smaller group of universities, and unconditionals weren't much of a thing (comparatively). Number of consumers (students) has risen along with their choice. The changes to tuition fees mean students are now consumers, and as a result have (to an extent) consumer rights. This is marketisation.

    For once I'm not concerned about the survival of TSR in connection to this debate.
    What is it exactly you are disagreeing with? Unconditionals are still only a small % of offers. Unless you show me that its against students interests to accept an unconditional as they perform significantly less well then I cant say im fussed. I have no problem with it being a market and unis having to sell themselves to students. As pointed out a little more consumer education in choosing might help, but as we have a loans system then imo its only right unis compete for students and the weak ones will nor thrive.
    • Section Leader
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    (Original post by PQ)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/2818263.stm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Univer...ns_controversy
    "The controversy resulted in applications to Bristol falling for the first time in a decade in the 2004/05 admissions cycle."
    Didn't know about that! And ironically of course Bristol has one of the highest % of private school students...
    • Section Leader
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    (Original post by 999tigger)
    What is it exactly you are disagreeing with? Unconditionals are still only a small % of offers. Unless you show me that its against students interests to accept an unconditional as they perform significantly less well then I cant say im fussed. I have no problem with it being a market and unis having to sell themselves to students. As pointed out a little more consumer education in choosing might help, but as we have a loans system then imo its only right unis compete for students and the weak ones will nor thrive.
    More than 2,500 unconditional if firmed offers from Birmingham last year.
    • Very Important Poster
    Online

    19
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    More than 2,500 unconditional if firmed offers from Birmingham last year.
    But from the total offers amongst all unis its a small %. Its kind of aggressive, but its up to the student to have some brains and decide if they want and uncond from Birmingham or back themselves to get into an even better uni. Birminghams is the one out of the better unis I see cropping up over this. Can you show me some data where people are actually suffering? Presumably if Birmingham gets it right then they get a better grade of student?
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 999tigger)
    But from the total offers amongst all unis its a small %. Its kind of aggressive, but its up to the student to have some brains and decide if they want and uncond from Birmingham or back themselves to get into an even better uni. Birminghams is the one out of the better unis I see cropping up over this. Can you show me some data where people are actually suffering? Presumably if Birmingham gets it right then they get a better grade of student?
    But that’s the point of them looking into it, to see whether it does have a negative effect or it’s sucking people into unis ...
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
    • Very Important Poster
    Online

    19
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by ax12)
    But that’s the point of them looking into it, to see whether it does have a negative effect or it’s sucking people into unis ...
    I didnt say I objected to them looking into it.
    Depends what you mean by sucking people in and what you think is legitimate.
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by 999tigger)
    W Unless you show me that its against students interests to accept an unconditional as they perform significantly less well then I cant say im fussed. .
    "Throughout the period, applicants holding unconditional firm choices were more likely to miss their predicted attainment by two or more grades, compared to applicants holding conditional firm choices. In 2015, applicants holding unconditional firm offers were 23 per cent more likely to miss their predicted attainment by two or more grades, compared to applicants holding conditional firm offers."
    https://www.ucas.com/file/71796/download?token=D4uuSzur
    • Section Leader
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    (Original post by 999tigger)
    But from the total offers amongst all unis its a small %. Its kind of aggressive, but its up to the student to have some brains and decide if they want and uncond from Birmingham or back themselves to get into an even better uni. Birminghams is the one out of the better unis I see cropping up over this. Can you show me some data where people are actually suffering? Presumably if Birmingham gets it right then they get a better grade of student?
    Birmingham is the worst offender - it's a clear marketing strategy by them, and not necessarily in the interests of the student. Birmingham is only interested in securing bums on seats ahead of their competitors.

    Nottingham is a key competitor for Birmingham and this has forced Nottingham into also making these offers. But that means they both lose it as a USP. It's a offer "arms race" that puts the universities needs ahead of the students.
    • Section Leader
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    (Original post by PQ)
    "Throughout the period, applicants holding unconditional firm choices were more likely to miss their predicted attainment by two or more grades, compared to applicants holding conditional firm choices. In 2015, applicants holding unconditional firm offers were 23 per cent more likely to miss their predicted attainment by two or more grades, compared to applicants holding conditional firm offers."
    https://www.ucas.com/file/71796/download?token=D4uuSzur
    Wow.

    And the use of these offers is definitely increasing:
    Name:  Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 13.37.12.jpg
Views: 33
Size:  173.1 KB
    • Very Important Poster
    Online

    19
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Birmingham is the worst offender - it's a clear marketing strategy by them, and not necessarily in the interests of the student. Birmingham is only interested in securing bums on seats ahead of their competitors.

    Nottingham is a key competitor for Birmingham and this has forced Nottingham into also making these offers. But that means they both lose it as a USP. It's a offer "arms race" that puts the universities needs ahead of the students.
    I'd need more data and analysis to see the effects on the students and sector. This is what happens when you get a quasi market though.
    • Very Important Poster
    Online

    19
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by PQ)
    "Throughout the period, applicants holding unconditional firm choices were more likely to miss their predicted attainment by two or more grades, compared to applicants holding conditional firm choices. In 2015, applicants holding unconditional firm offers were 23 per cent more likely to miss their predicted attainment by two or more grades, compared to applicants holding conditional firm offers."
    https://www.ucas.com/file/71796/download?token=D4uuSzur
    Ello.

    I would be more interested in the long term degree outcomes. If students want to slack then more fool them. Better student education. Not outraged they do it though.
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    AS levels are gone... GCSEs probably should go (and I expect they will be axed sooner or later), if that happens then unis are going to have to get used to judging applicants on references and predicted grades alone, will they be able to do that under the current system?

    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    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.
    I agree. The marketization of higher education and tying university funding directly to student numbers was a terrible idea, but unfortunately nothing will be done about it so long as the Tories are in power.
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the proposed ban on plastic straws and cotton buds?
Useful resources
Uni match

Applying to uni?

Our tool will help you find the perfect course

Articles:

Debate and current affairs guidelinesDebate and current affairs wiki

Quick link:

Educational debate unanswered threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.