The Student Room Group

“Lying” about UCAS reference?

Okay so it’s not really lying as such, more so just bending the truth a little bit. There’s no lie involved, just one particular detail was left out.

I’m a mature student (early 20’s) . I was in university overseas, and I got great grades. The issue is, I was unable to contact any of my old teachers or professors, so I put my my old manager as my reference. But my old manager happens to be my mother. She also works independently so it’s not like there are other managers or coworkers I could ask.

Now we have different surnames and different addresses. Is there any way that UCAS or uni will find out that we’re related?
I know some will probably say to find another reference, but there genuinely is no one else. I’ve worked for her for a long time, and I’m unable to contact any of my old teachers/professors. She is quite literally my only option but I’m worried that it’s going to be found out?

EDIT - i managed to get in contact with an old teacher who offered to do it. she taught me years ago so i’m unsure if it’ll even be accepted, but i’m assuming that was the better option
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by mishacollins13
Okay so it’s not really lying as such, more so just bending the truth a little bit. There’s no lie involved, just one particular detail was left out.

I’m a mature student (early 20’s) . I was in university overseas, and I got great grades. The issue is, I was unable to contact any of my old teachers or professors, so I put my my old manager as my reference. But my old manager happens to be my mother. She also works independently so it’s not like there are other managers or coworkers I could ask.

Now we have different surnames and different addresses. Is there any way that UCAS or uni will find out that we’re related?
I know some will probably say to find another reference, but there genuinely is no one else. I’ve worked for her for a long time, and I’m unable to contact any of my old teachers/professors. She is quite literally my only option but I’m worried that it’s going to be found out?

Hi @mishacollins13,

Perhaps this is the answer you predicted, but I would highly recommend you find another reference. I am not sure what methods UCAS uses to determine the referee's relation to you, however I would say it's not worth taking the risk. I know that you say that you were unable to contact any of your old teachers, but I would suggest giving this another go. I'd recommend contacting your school directly with a list of potential references and see if they can put you in touch with any of your teachers. I hope this is helpful, even if it does mean doing a bit more work to get a reference!

Best wishes,
Daniel

Admissions Office
Oxford Brookes University
If you've not been working for long, your choices will likely be in touch to ask for an academic reference.

In all honesty you would have been better approaching your choices about applying with no reference at all. It's a silly risk to take for what is fundamentally a tickbox requirement.

https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/how-get-ucas-undergraduate-reference

"Don’t ask family, friends, partners or ex-partners though if you do your application may be cancelled."
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by OxfordBrookesRep
Hi @mishacollins13,

Perhaps this is the answer you predicted, but I would highly recommend you find another reference. I am not sure what methods UCAS uses to determine the referee's relation to you, however I would say it's not worth taking the risk. I know that you say that you were unable to contact any of your old teachers, but I would suggest giving this another go. I'd recommend contacting your school directly with a list of potential references and see if they can put you in touch with any of your teachers. I hope this is helpful, even if it does mean doing a bit more work to get a reference!

Best wishes,
Daniel

Admissions Office
Oxford Brookes University

thanks for your reply! i managed to get in contact with an old teacher of mine who offered to do it. she taught me about four years ago though, would this be a problem? she is really my only other option
Original post by mishacollins13
thanks for your reply! i managed to get in contact with an old teacher of mine who offered to do it. she taught me about four years ago though, would this be a problem? she is really my only other option


Hi @mishacollins13,

I don't see this being an issue, though I suppose it will depend a bit on the policies of the universities you've applied to. If they do come back and question the dates on your reference, just explain the situation (working for your mum and not having been in education for the last 4 years) and I should think they will accept it. I think it's quite unlikely that they will question the dates, as they will understand your education timeline from your application. I hope this helps and good decision to go back and find a teacher to provide a reference.

Best wishes,
Daniel

Admissions Office
Oxford Brookes University
Original post by OxfordBrookesRep
I don't see this being an issue, though I suppose it will depend a bit on the policies of the universities you've applied to.


I think this is a bit understated given UCAS's policy above where they can have their application cancelled if this is identified.
Original post by Admit-One
I think this is a bit understated given UCAS's policy above where they can have their application cancelled if this is identified.


I think you may have missed what I was replying to. I was referring to the reference being from a teacher from 4 years ago, not from the applicant's mother.
Original post by OxfordBrookesRep
I think you may have missed what I was replying to. I was referring to the reference being from a teacher from 4 years ago, not from the applicant's mother.

Yes, but you said "just explain the situation (working for your mum". The professional ref isn't the problem, it's the fact it was from a family member which I would not be drawing their attention to. Just provide an academic ref if they ask for one.
Original post by Admit-One
Yes, but you said "just explain the situation (working for your mum". The professional ref isn't the problem, it's the fact it was from a family member which I would not be drawing their attention to. Just provide an academic ref if they ask for one.


Apologies if I wasn't clear. I simply meant that she could explain that the only reference she could provide was the academic reference from four years ago and that a more recent reference was not an option because she has been working for her mum (who obviously cannot provide a reference). Anyway, I think we can all agree that your mum cannot provide your reference!
Original post by OxfordBrookesRep
Apologies if I wasn't clear. I simply meant that she could explain that the only reference she could provide was the academic reference from four years ago and that a more recent reference was not an option because she has been working for her mum (who obviously cannot provide a reference). Anyway, I think we can all agree that your mum cannot provide your reference!

Indeed, we're on the same page. Apologies if my first quote did not make it clear which part I thought was a bit iffy. Academic vs professional ref is indeed a uni policy, it's the family member bit which UCAS could take issue with, (although I would hope they would see as a genuine error, rather than an attempt to mislead).

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