23 unis warned about unnaceptable use of unconditional if firm offers

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Joinedup
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Education Secretary Damian Hinds has written to the VC's of 23 unis warning them to stop using the 'pressure sales' tactic of making unconditional if firm offers in attempts to 'trap' students.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/u...ions-practices

The 23 were named in today's 'i' newspaper print edition as:

University of Roehampton
Loughborough College
Kingston University
Sheffield Hallam University
University of Brighton
Birmingham City University
Nottingham Trent University
Bournemouth University
Staffordshire University
University of Lincoln
University of Hertfordshire
Royal Holloway, University of London
Oxford Brookes University
Lancaster University
University of Birmingham
Middlesex University
University of Derby
University of West London
City, University of London
Keele University
University of Kent
Aston University, Birmingham
University of Surrey

The use of 'conditional-unconditional' offers as they are known has risen from zero in 2013 to 66,000 in 2018
Roehampton made 1940 of the controversial offers in 2018, 65.8% of all the offers it made.

No online news sites seem to be printing the list of 23 this evening.
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What do you think? Will you be glad to see the back of unconditional if firm offers or do they serve some useful purpose?
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Notoriety
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Aka the elites.
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J Papi
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Good to name 'n shame, even though I anticipate the inevitable 'why wasn't this uni on the list as well' argument.

Unconditional offers for those who haven't even sat their final school exams are f*cking pathetic.
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Themysticalegg
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I just see unconditional offers as peer pressure tactics to attract vulnerable A-level students who are scared of not doing as well as expected, and want certainty so they will take the offer even if it's not the best choice for them and they should be abolished.
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NP2803
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If you're applying for any of those universities you'll be happy to get an unconditional
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Notoriety)
Aka the elites.
There's a member of the Russell Group in there...

OTOH London Met seems to have unusually let the opportunity to get involved in a scandal pass it by
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Notoriety
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(Original post by Joinedup)
There's a member of the Russell Group in there...
Aye, we all know RG means the place is elite.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Notoriety)
Aye, we all know RG means the place is elite.
Haven't you read any newspapers in the last 10 or so years?

'Elite' belongs with 'Russell Group' like 'So called' belongs with 'Islamic state'... I think it's been hard coded into grammar checking software.
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Kocytean
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(Original post by Joinedup)
Haven't you read any newspapers in the last 10 or so years?

'Elite' belongs with 'Russell Group' like 'So called' belongs with 'Islamic state'... I think it's been hard coded into grammar checking software.
I think he was joking.

Yet of the several Russel Groups on that list, Birmingham is rather good, and Surrey isn't bad. Disappointing to see them doing this.
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Izzythestudent
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Falmouth did this to me. Needless to say I did not firm them. I think it’s very sneaky; if they really wanted me that badly, they would have just given me the unconditional. Made me feel cheated.
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swanseajack1
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Birmingham were the first to bring these in and others followed
(Original post by Kocytean)
I think he was joking.

Yet of the several Russel Groups on that list, Birmingham is rather good, and Surrey isn't bad. Disappointing to see them doing this.
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
Birmingham were the first to bring these in and others followed
I did not know that - thanks for the fact.
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kkboyk
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They should be fined. Some of these also spend a ridiculous amount of money in marketing, for example Middlesex spent £2.6m from 2017-18 to attract more students, despite facing some financial difficulties.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Joinedup)
Education Secretary Damian Hinds has written to the VC's of 23 unis warning them to stop using the 'pressure sales' tactic of making unconditional if firm offers in attempts to 'trap' students.
"Unconditional if firmed" looks positively ethical compared with this practice described by Prof Paul Glaister in a letter in today's Times:-

"No mention is made, however, of the practice whereby applicants are contacted by a university before the deadline for making their decision on which offer to accept as their first option, saying that they will reduce their offer, but only if the applicant makes them their first choice in the next two weeks. As this alternative admission practice is merely a variant of the “conditional unconditional” scheme, I wonder whether the education secretary might also consider this as “unacceptable” for similar reasons?"

Presumably these were for courses at the Benidorm Part-time Studies Centre of the Everest Double Glazing Institute of the University of DFS,
Last edited by nulli tertius; 11 months ago
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swanseajack1
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He most certainly should look into this. The problem is that because the government opened up higher education to allow universities to increase their admission numbers when they had previously been capped, other universities are using these dubious methods to make up their numbers. In addition there has been a reduction in people reaching university age. The universities have brought in this system to try and overcome this but it really should never have been allowed and should have been stamped on a few years ago when Birmingham started in.
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username4310824
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Unconditional offers, unless given to someone who already has their grades or those who have an outstanding application, make a mockery of the entire system. They need to get rid of them.
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Andrew97
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(Original post by kkboyk)
They should be fined. Some of these also spend a ridiculous amount of money in marketing, for example Middlesex spent £2.6m from 2017-18 to attract more students, despite facing some financial difficulties.
Is it really fair to fine them for spending on marketing
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
"Unconditional if firmed" looks positively ethical compared with this practice described by Prof Paul Glaister in a letter in today's Times:-

"No mention is made, however, of the practice whereby applicants are contacted by a university before the deadline for making their decision on which offer to accept as their first option, saying that they will reduce their offer, but only if the applicant makes them their first choice in the next two weeks. As this alternative admission practice is merely a variant of the “conditional unconditional” scheme, I wonder whether the education secretary might also consider this as “unacceptable” for similar reasons?"

Presumably these were for courses at the Benidorm Part-time Studies Centre of the Everest Double Glazing Institute of the University of DFS,
Wow... I know that some unis (e.g. Bristol) call up a lot of their offerholders for a 'chat', but this informal conditional unconditional thing is something else...
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by MinaBee)
Unconditional offers, unless given to someone who already has their grades or those who have an outstanding application, make a mockery of the entire system. They need to get rid of them.
I am opposed to unconditional if firm offers and these apparent limited time offers because they put unfair pressure on applicants,

I am not opposed to unconditional offers as such. You say it makes a mockery of the entire system. But what is the system? The system is universities choosing the applicants they want using whatever criteria they select. A place at university is not a prize for good results in school examinations.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
Wow... I know that some unis (e.g. Bristol) call up a lot of their offerholders for a 'chat', but this informal conditional unconditional thing is something else...
That is just salesmanship, building customer loyality. Nothing wrong with that.
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