Do I have any reason to appeal university admission decision? Watch

AmWood842
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I was homeschooled for A levels in my last year of secondary school due to a physical illness. I took three subjects that required no public assessment of coursework and achieved A*A*A. My first preference university has rejected me because my qualifications did not include any form of public assessment. I offered to submit written work (which is the norm for homeschooled students), but admissions said it would not be necessary and that their decision must be upheld. Is this fair? I have competitive qualifications/grades, but I've not been made an offer over publicly moderated coursework?
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999tigger
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(Original post by AmWood842)
I was homeschooled for A levels in my last year of secondary school due to a physical illness. I took three subjects that required no public assessment of coursework and achieved A*A*A. My first preference university has rejected me because my qualifications did not include any form of public assessment. I offered to submit written work (which is the norm for homeschooled students), but admissions said it would not be necessary and that their decision must be upheld. Is this fair? I have competitive qualifications/grades, but I've not been made an offer over publicly moderated coursework?
Which uni?
Is public assessment mentioned anywhere in the entrance requirement? Which course?
What do they mean by public assessment of coursework?
What was the physical illness and how did and does that affect your ability to study? Are you classified disabled?
You could be refused a place on any number of grounds and because you got A*A*A does not mean you should get an offer even if it meets the entrance requirement.

You should look on the Unis website about making a complaint or appeal and see if your case falls within that.
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Admit-One
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Unless their Admissions policy states clearly that they will consider candidates without any external assessments, they've really done nothing wrong and it's unlikely you have anything to appeal against.

Uni's should have their Admissions guidelines available on their websites so your first step would be to have a good read of those.
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AmWood842
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Which uni?
Is public assessment mentioned anywhere in the entrance requirement? Which course?
What do they mean by public assessment of coursework?
What was the physical illness and how did and does that affect your ability to study? Are you classified disabled?
You could be refused a place on any number of grounds and because you got A*A*A does not mean you should get an offer even if it meets the entrance requirement.

You should look on the Unis website about making a complaint or appeal and see if your case falls within that.
By public assessment of coursework, I mean the external marking of coursework. Like in A Level English Lit where you have to choose two texts and write an essay, then it is officially marked by teachers. Basically all the marked coursework you do before you sit your final exams.

I have scoliosis and depression. Both were diagnosed late (just before my last year of school-- prior to my diagnosis I was in incredible pain and missed school a lot), hence why I decided to be homeschooled for my last year while I sought treatment. I've had surgery and I feel a lot better now.

Admissions emailed me saying that the only reason they rejected me was because of the assessed coursework issue. I don't really have a case since it is the University's entrance requirement to have qualifications that included some sort of assessed coursework. I just didn't feel that my qualifications were being considered in the context in which they were achieved. Don't think a procedural error has occurred for me to appeal. I made this thread for a second opinion, so I really appreciate your reply!
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999tigger
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(Original post by AmWood842)
By public assessment of coursework, I mean the external marking of coursework. Like in A Level English Lit where you have to choose two texts and write an essay, then it is officially marked by teachers. Basically all the marked coursework you do before you sit your final exams.

I have scoliosis and depression. Both were diagnosed late (just before my last year of school-- prior to my diagnosis I was in incredible pain and missed school a lot), hence why I decided to be homeschooled for my last year while I sought treatment. I've had surgery and I feel a lot better now.

Admissions emailed me saying that the only reason they rejected me was because of the assessed coursework issue. I don't really have a case since it is the University's entrance requirement to have qualifications that included some sort of assessed coursework. I just didn't feel that my qualifications were being considered in the context in which they were achieved. Don't think a procedural error has occurred for me to appeal. I made this thread for a second opinion, so I really appreciate your reply!
I find it an odd requirement and something I have never heard of. If anything coursework is less likely to be impartial and not all courses have it. You would need someone to interview you and look at the documents, although tbh am at a loss who would have the time and expertise to do so.
Maybe you can find someone so inclined on some of the homeschooling networks which I assume there must be.

You can try a complaint saying its unfairly prejudicial to have such a criteria.

You would need medical evidence/ supporting letter from GP inlcuding an assessment of your illness and its effect on study.

Hard to say really its still vague. GL anyway.

Meeting the academics is no guarantee you would be offered a place. Sounds a bit strange though.
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AmWood842
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(Original post by Admit-One)
Unless their Admissions policy states clearly that they will consider candidates without any external assessments, they've really done nothing wrong and it's unlikely you have anything to appeal against.

Uni's should have their Admissions guidelines available on their websites so your first step would be to have a good read of those.
Yeah, I've now figured that I don't have anything to appeal against. As a homeschooled applicant, I was in that grey area of whether Admission guidelines directly addressed my qualifications or not. Thank you for your reply, much appreciated!
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by AmWood842)
By public assessment of coursework, I mean the external marking of coursework. Like in A Level English Lit where you have to choose two texts and write an essay, then it is officially marked by teachers. Basically all the marked coursework you do before you sit your final exams.

I have scoliosis and depression. Both were diagnosed late (just before my last year of school-- prior to my diagnosis I was in incredible pain and missed school a lot), hence why I decided to be homeschooled for my last year while I sought treatment. I've had surgery and I feel a lot better now.

Admissions emailed me saying that the only reason they rejected me was because of the assessed coursework issue. I don't really have a case since it is the University's entrance requirement to have qualifications that included some sort of assessed coursework. I just didn't feel that my qualifications were being considered in the context in which they were achieved. Don't think a procedural error has occurred for me to appeal. I made this thread for a second opinion, so I really appreciate your reply!
I'm slightly confused by your situation. Did you choose an A-level where there was an assessed coursework component and you weren't able to complete this? Or was the A-level assessed by terminal exam only?

This can happen with science subjects where the "practical endorsement", although not contributing to the final grade, is often required for science courses, but I haven't heard of this type of scenario for non-science A-levels.

Many A-levels are now terminal exam only, so I'm unsure why this is a problem for this particular uni- but have you actually completed your qualifications?

However, unis are allowed to set whatever entry requirements they like, and challenging these would be a very difficult progress.

It's a shame to be rejected, but are there any other unis you could apply to?
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AmWood842
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
I'm slightly confused by your situation. Did you choose an A-level where there was an assessed coursework component and you weren't able to complete this? Or was the A-level assessed by terminal exam only?

This can happen with science subjects where the "practical endorsement", although not contributing to the final grade, is often required for science courses, but I haven't heard of this type of scenario for non-science A-levels.

Many A-levels are now terminal exam only, so I'm unsure why this is a problem for this particular uni- but have you actually completed your qualifications?

However, unis are allowed to set whatever entry requirements they like, and challenging these would be a very difficult progress.

It's a shame to be rejected, but are there any other unis you could apply to?
My A-levels are assessed only by terminal exams. All my subjects were in the humanities. I applied for Classics.

I stressed to Admissions the fact that many A-levels only require a terminal exam, though they disagreed with me? I genuinely don't understand why the University is making a big fuss over assessed coursework.

I have definitely completed my qualifications in full. Not that this really matters to the situation, but I did receive an Oxford offer, so my qualifications were definitely completed. I didn't accept because there was no realistic way that I could have moved to Oxford in the middle of receiving treatment for my scoliosis and depression. Thus I applied to my local university out of necessity, but they have obviously rejected me. I really don't feel healthy enough to apply anywhere else other than this University. Imho the assessed coursework issue is arbitrary and a little unfair. I'm not even applying for a hugely popular course that receives an abundant amount of applicants. I do think their reasoning is flawed; however, as it is the University's policy, I understand that they have the right to reject me and that it would be challenging to appeal.
Many thanks for your helpful reply!
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by AmWood842)
My A-levels are assessed only by terminal exams. All my subjects were in the humanities. I applied for Classics.

I stressed to Admissions the fact that many A-levels only require a terminal exam, though they disagreed with me? I genuinely don't understand why the University is making a big fuss over assessed coursework.

I have definitely completed my qualifications in full. Not that this really matters to the situation, but I did receive an Oxford offer, so my qualifications were definitely completed. I didn't accept because there was no realistic way that I could have moved to Oxford in the middle of receiving treatment for my scoliosis and depression. Thus I applied to my local university out of necessity, but they have obviously rejected me. I really don't feel healthy enough to apply anywhere else other than this University. Imho the assessed coursework issue is arbitrary and a little unfair. I'm not even applying for a hugely popular course that receives an abundant amount of applicants. I do think their reasoning is flawed; however, as it is the University's policy, I understand that they have the right to reject me and that it would be challenging to appeal.
Many thanks for your helpful reply!
This does sound really odd, and I'm surprised they can fill courses with this policy.

I think, unfortunately, the only way you'd be able to challenge this is maybe by pursuing some kind of disability discrimination route, which would be quite difficult and stressful, and probably wouldn't come to a conclusion before September.

Do you think maybe next year you'd be able to move away to uni?
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AmWood842
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
This does sound really odd, and I'm surprised they can fill courses with this policy.

I think, unfortunately, the only way you'd be able to challenge this is maybe by pursuing some kind of disability discrimination route, which would be quite difficult and stressful, and probably wouldn't come to a conclusion before September.

Do you think maybe next year you'd be able to move away to uni?
Yeah, it is odd. The University even took five months(when it should have taken three weeks) to reply to my request for a review because management had forgotten to send me a formal reply.

The only way you can appeal a decision is if "A procedural irregularity has occurred in the selection process (which may include that issues of equity/special circumstances have not been addressed in the selection process)". I'm not sure if I still have enough of a strong case regarding issues of equity/ special circumstances to appeal since in the formal selection review reply, management stated that for reasons of equity they could not change their policy/entry requirements for me.

I've already taken a gap year, so I'm starting to feel a little too old to be waiting till next year.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by AmWood842)
Yeah, it is odd. The University even took five months(when it should have taken three weeks) to reply to my request for a review because management had forgotten to send me a formal reply.

The only way you can appeal a decision is if "A procedural irregularity has occurred in the selection process (which may include that issues of equity/special circumstances have not been addressed in the selection process)". I'm not sure if I still have enough of a strong case regarding issues of equity/ special circumstances to appeal since in the formal selection review reply, management stated that for reasons of equity they could not change their policy/entry requirements for me.

I've already taken a gap year, so I'm starting to feel a little too old to be waiting till next year.
I went to uni at 20, and honestly it's no big deal- there will be people of all ages on most courses, not just 18yos straight out of school. I definitely wasn't the only one! And it hasn't held me back at all.

If you really want to, then it's worth appealing, maybe with medical evidence- but it sounds like the uni are unlikely to change their decision.
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AmWood842
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
I went to uni at 20, and honestly it's no big deal- there will be people of all ages on most courses, not just 18yos straight out of school. I definitely wasn't the only one! And it hasn't held me back at all.

If you really want to, then it's worth appealing, maybe with medical evidence- but it sounds like the uni are unlikely to change their decision.
Yeah, I might just have to continue getting better and reapply to other unis for next year. Thank you for the comforting words and I do agree that the University will not budge in this case haha.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by AmWood842)
Yeah, I might just have to continue getting better and reapply to other unis for next year. Thank you for the comforting words and I do agree that the University will not budge in this case haha.
Good luck for the future.

It might turn out to be a blessing in disguise if you're able to go to a different uni next year.
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AmWood842
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Good luck for the future.

It might turn out to be a blessing in disguise if you're able to go to a different uni next year.
Thank you!
I sure hope so, and all the best to you too
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swanseajack1
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You dont have any right of appeal but you have nothing to lose by writing to the university complaining that they have failed to act in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act and that you have been discriminated by their policy. Explain due to your illness that you have been unable to attend school and have had to be home schooled and therefore their policy of assessed homework is discriminating against you and is in breach of the DDA. It might get you nowhere but the university wont want the bad press so it is worth a try. Address the letter to The Vice Chancellor and it will probably be redirected to someone with knowledge of the DDA rather than an admissions tutor who probably isnt knowledgeable about the Act. Head the letter DISCRIMINATION DISABILITY ACT.
(Original post by AmWood842)
Thank you!
I sure hope so, and all the best to you too
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welcometotherock
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What subjects & exam board did you take?
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AmWood842
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(Original post by 999tigger)
I find it an odd requirement and something I have never heard of. If anything coursework is less likely to be impartial and not all courses have it. You would need someone to interview you and look at the documents, although tbh am at a loss who would have the time and expertise to do so.
Maybe you can find someone so inclined on some of the homeschooling networks which I assume there must be.

You can try a complaint saying its unfairly prejudicial to have such a criteria.

You would need medical evidence/ supporting letter from GP inlcuding an assessment of your illness and its effect on study.

Hard to say really its still vague. GL anyway.

Meeting the academics is no guarantee you would be offered a place. Sounds a bit strange though.
I too find it a very odd requirement. I essentially said the same thing about coursework being "less likely to be impartial" and not all courses even having it to Admissions and the Associate Director of Admissions, yet they all replied that it was mandatory for anyone to be admitted and that unfortunately, my choice of homeschooling did not meet the entrance requirements.

The appeal process works like a hearing and the appeal panel is made up of three members of the Academic Board and at least one relevant faculty member. So perhaps this might be an appropriate approach to be interviewed, meet with the academics and have someone really look at my essays/documents. I can easily get supporting letters from doctors and someone knowledgable on homeschooling (although, I've already sent supporting letters to Admissions and the Associate Director of Admissions). The only issue with appealing is that my appeal may be dismissed without hearing because appeals can only be lodged if "a procedural irregularity has occurred in the selection process (which may include that issues of equity/special circumstances have not been addressed in the selection process)". I think that "a complaint saying it's unfairly prejudicial to have such a criteria" comes under issues of equity?
What do you think?

Btw I forgot to answer two of your earlier questions:
Is public assessment mentioned anywhere in the entrance requirement? Which course?
Public assessment isn't directly mentioned in the entrance requirements and there wasn't any info for homeschooled applicants. The entrance requirements did, however, include a high school certificate. Since I met the academic entrance requirements for school leavers, I assumed it was self-explanatory that a homeschooled student would have neither public assessment nor a high school certificate and that in turn would mean Admissions would look at my application holistically.
I applied for Classics.

Once again, thank you for reading and offering useful guidance.
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Future Physics
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Hey I'm going to university next October and I'll be 23 before Christmas 2020 so don't feel too old lol. If anything it is more of a benefit going later because you will be older and mature so you'll be able to make much better decisions about your future career and optional modules.
(Original post by 999tigger)
I find it an odd requirement and something I have never heard of. If anything coursework is less likely to be impartial and not all courses have it. You would need someone to interview you and look at the documents, although tbh am at a loss who would have the time and expertise to do so.
Maybe you can find someone so inclined on some of the homeschooling networks which I assume there must be.

You can try a complaint saying its unfairly prejudicial to have such a criteria.

You would need medical evidence/ supporting letter from GP inlcuding an assessment of your illness and its effect on study.

Hard to say really its still vague. GL anyway.

Meeting the academics is no guarantee you would be offered a place. Sounds a bit strange though.
(Original post by AmWood842)
Yeah, it is odd. The University even took five months(when it should have taken three weeks) to reply to my request for a review because management had forgotten to send me a formal reply.

The only way you can appeal a decision is if "A procedural irregularity has occurred in the selection process (which may include that issues of equity/special circumstances have not been addressed in the selection process)". I'm not sure if I still have enough of a strong case regarding issues of equity/ special circumstances to appeal since in the formal selection review reply, management stated that for reasons of equity they could not change their policy/entry requirements for me.

I've already taken a gap year, so I'm starting to feel a little too old to be waiting till next year.
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999tigger
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(Original post by AmWood842)
I too find it a very odd requirement. I essentially said the same thing about coursework being "less likely to be impartial" and not all courses even having it to Admissions and the Associate Director of Admissions, yet they all replied that it was mandatory for anyone to be admitted and that unfortunately, my choice of homeschooling did not meet the entrance requirements.

The appeal process works like a hearing and the appeal panel is made up of three members of the Academic Board and at least one relevant faculty member. So perhaps this might be an appropriate approach to be interviewed, meet with the academics and have someone really look at my essays/documents. I can easily get supporting letters from doctors and someone knowledgable on homeschooling (although, I've already sent supporting letters to Admissions and the Associate Director of Admissions). The only issue with appealing is that my appeal may be dismissed without hearing because appeals can only be lodged if "a procedural irregularity has occurred in the selection process (which may include that issues of equity/special circumstances have not been addressed in the selection process)". I think that "a complaint saying it's unfairly prejudicial to have such a criteria" comes under issues of equity?
What do you think?

Btw I forgot to answer two of your earlier questions:
Is public assessment mentioned anywhere in the entrance requirement? Which course?
Public assessment isn't directly mentioned in the entrance requirements and there wasn't any info for homeschooled applicants. The entrance requirements did, however, include a high school certificate. Since I met the academic entrance requirements for school leavers, I assumed it was self-explanatory that a homeschooled student would have neither public assessment nor a high school certificate and that in turn would mean Admissions would look at my application holistically.
I applied for Classics.

Once again, thank you for reading and offering useful guidance.
Unless ive seen the rules I cant say.
I would make a complaint about it being unfairly prejudicial against home students.
If I had the medical backup as asked in post #2 I would make a further claim under the Equalities Act.
You wouldnt have anything to lose.

The first is not an appeal, the second is a question of law. They cant ignore either.
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AmWood842
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(Original post by welcometotherock)
What subjects & exam board did you take?
OCR Latin, Ancient History and Classical Civilisation.
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