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Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
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Durham College ReAllocation

Anyone know if it’s possible to be reallocated on results day to a college that was higher in your preferences than the one you currently have a preliminary allocation to?

For example, someone allocated to one of my higher preferred colleges may pull out, deny their offer, not make the grades etc. Can this happen and then someone else be reallocated to their spot?
I think it’s unlikely unless you have a specific medical, physical or disability need to be in a different sort of accommodation. I think may also be the possibility of contesting your college on financial need so, for example if your preferences were all self-catered and you have been allocated catered which may difficult to fund. This case for this may require a level of financial disclosure though.
Potentially if Durham is in clearing those applicants granted admission on results day may end up in random colleges which could be a higher choice for you personally.
Otherwise requests for college changes, now or on results day, will likely be refused.
On the plus side, all colleges are great communities and will be filled with like-minded people. My advice is to get stuck in to college life wherever you end up. Make the most of all the opportunities presented to you - it’ll be great.
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
Visit website
Reply 2
Original post by Anonymous
I think it’s unlikely unless you have a specific medical, physical or disability need to be in a different sort of accommodation. I think may also be the possibility of contesting your college on financial need so, for example if your preferences were all self-catered and you have been allocated catered which may difficult to fund. This case for this may require a level of financial disclosure though.
Potentially if Durham is in clearing those applicants granted admission on results day may end up in random colleges which could be a higher choice for you personally.
Otherwise requests for college changes, now or on results day, will likely be refused.
On the plus side, all colleges are great communities and will be filled with like-minded people. My advice is to get stuck in to college life wherever you end up. Make the most of all the opportunities presented to you - it’ll be great.

That seems strange and unfair that a person allocated a random college from clearing could be put in a college that I preferred higher than my current college, when I’m entering via general admissions?

Also, if the amount of people denying their offers or not making the grades is more than those entering via clearing then you’d be left with empty spaces in colleges some people would really want to be in. It seems strange to not try and reallocate others to try and give each student a chance at one of their preferred colleges.
Reply 3
Original post by Anonymous
That seems strange and unfair that a person allocated a random college from clearing could be put in a college that I preferred higher than my current college, when I’m entering via general admissions?
Also, if the amount of people denying their offers or not making the grades is more than those entering via clearing then you’d be left with empty spaces in colleges some people would really want to be in. It seems strange to not try and reallocate others to try and give each student a chance at one of their preferred colleges.

Adding to this, Durham does not confirm someone’s college until results day, and people in the past have been reallocated to one of their lower preferences. So it seems strange you couldn’t do it the other way also?
Original post by Anonymous
Adding to this, Durham does not confirm someone’s college until results day, and people in the past have been reallocated to one of their lower preferences. So it seems strange you couldn’t do it the other way also?
i guess there is a chance of a higher allocation if you have been given say, Castle Collingwood or Chads and they happened to be at the bottom of your list.
The most popular choices have around a 30-40% chance of outward reallocation after results day so it is unlikely you will be moved from where you have been placed to one of the more popular choices (if you are aren’t already allocated in one).
The reason some random from clearing may go into one of the more popular colleges is that the uni try and keep a certain number of people for each course in each college.
It is a bit of a strange system. Certainly not doing a provisional allocation at this stage would probably make everyone’s lives easier so you just get what you get on results day.
Essentially though it’s the same as accom at any other uni. You may or may not get what you want. The only differences you should focus on are catered / self-catered and share rooms.
Don’t know if that helps?
Durham is great whichever college you find yourself in. Honestly, when you arrive it won’t matter like you think it will.
Reply 5
Original post by Anonymous
i guess there is a chance of a higher allocation if you have been given say, Castle Collingwood or Chads and they happened to be at the bottom of your list.
The most popular choices have around a 30-40% chance of outward reallocation after results day so it is unlikely you will be moved from where you have been placed to one of the more popular choices (if you are aren’t already allocated in one).
The reason some random from clearing may go into one of the more popular colleges is that the uni try and keep a certain number of people for each course in each college.
It is a bit of a strange system. Certainly not doing a provisional allocation at this stage would probably make everyone’s lives easier so you just get what you get on results day.
Essentially though it’s the same as accom at any other uni. You may or may not get what you want. The only differences you should focus on are catered / self-catered and share rooms.
Don’t know if that helps?
Durham is great whichever college you find yourself in. Honestly, when you arrive it won’t matter like you think it will.

What does ‘chance of outward reallocation’ mean? Does that mean to be allocated to that college from somewhere else or being removed from that college and allocated elsewhere?

I still don’t understand where all the college slots of people who have denied their offer go to?

Just seems strange to not make sure every student who entered via general admission has the best they can fairly get, and have clearing take up the leftovers. Even with the need to mix academic departments within the college, just use other students from general admissions who study those needed subjects, move them up from one of their lower preferences to fill the slot instead of using students in clearing.
Original post by alt76765
What does ‘chance of outward reallocation’ mean? Does that mean to be allocated to that college from somewhere else or being removed from that college and allocated elsewhere?
I still don’t understand where all the college slots of people who have denied their offer go to?
Just seems strange to not make sure every student who entered via general admission has the best they can fairly get, and have clearing take up the leftovers. Even with the need to mix academic departments within the college, just use other students from general admissions who study those needed subjects, move them up from one of their lower preferences to fill the slot instead of using students in clearing.
You have more chance of being reallocated in the summer if you have been provisionally allocated to one of the most popular colleges (‘outward reallocation’).
The uni give a certain number of places at each college for each subject. Once the subject is fully allocated for Castle, for example, the balance of people are then passed to their next choice. If that choice is already full for their subject, they go to the next choice and so on.
There are many more people who want castle etc than they have spaces for. They will always fill the places at the top choice colleges 10x over.
In the unlikely event they have space - for example - for a History student in Castle on results day, that will probably be filled via clearing.
This year, they have said more people will not get their preference in provisional allocations in an attempt to limit reallocations after results day.
Reply 7
Original post by Anonymous
You have more chance of being reallocated in the summer if you have been provisionally allocated to one of the most popular colleges (‘outward reallocation’).
The uni give a certain number of places at each college for each subject. Once the subject is fully allocated for Castle, for example, the balance of people are then passed to their next choice. If that choice is already full for their subject, they go to the next choice and so on.
There are many more people who want castle etc than they have spaces for. They will always fill the places at the top choice colleges 10x over.
In the unlikely event they have space - for example - for a History student in Castle on results day, that will probably be filled via clearing.
This year, they have said more people will not get their preference in provisional allocations in an attempt to limit reallocations after results day.

I just don’t understand how there can be zero spaces left in the popular colleges for any subjects post-results day (considering people are provisionally allocated their college before accepting their offer and can therefore still choose to not attend the university, leaving their college space available to others), unless they provisionally allocate more people to the popular colleges (for each subject) than they actually have real space for?

If the provisional allocation numbers to each college (for each subject) actually matched the real number of places available at that college (for each subject) then you would definitely have spaces at multiple colleges opening up as more and more people choose not to attend the uni or firm their offer.

If these now available spaces are all then only filled via clearing students then that is completely unfair to any of the other students (who entered via general admission) who should have obvious priority in college selection?
Reply 8
The algorithm knows how many for each subject typically then don’t firm or insure. It knows how many typically don’t achieve their offer and how many typically come in through insurance. They offer based on those statistical likelihoods based on last data.
It is similar to how they have to over-offer to fill the places in each course because not everyone will firm or insure or achieve their grades.

It’s not an exact science and neither is college allocation. That’s why there are always reallocations and people in Clearing. It can never be exact.

I suppose this year, they hope to do less re-allocating. That is a good thing. But it will mean more have got their lower choices and will then not be reallocated. Some still will be and are more likely to be from the most popular colleges.

I agree it woukd be better to ask for preferences and only allocate after results once the university know who is actually coming. I think they use provisional allocation to get people more interested in the colleges and in Durham in the hope more people firm and insure, it’s about their numbers and having a stronger field, not about giving the students a positive experience of college allocation.

After all, who would choose to allocate in the middle of exams, if student satisfaction and well-bei g were the primary goals of the process?
In the same way as admissions work, they will have a contingency figure for over offering.
Taking History and Castle as the example again (blunt instrument but should give a better perspective):

Castle have 100 places for History
Castle provisionally allocate 125 students for History
Outcome 1 - all Castle History students achieve grades to meet their offers. 25 students are put in the pool to be reallocated to other colleges which have places.
Outcome 2 (the goal) - 100 / 125 Castle History students achieve their grades. 25 students don’t get admitted to Durham at all and 100% of Castle’s History allocation is filled 👍
Outcome 3 (unlikely) - 90 / 125 provisionally allocated Castle History students achieve their offer. Frees up 10 places which will then potentially be occupied by students from the pool from other subjects (see point 1) where more students meet the offer than places available.
If there are a few random places when all subjects have been placed, these will go to clearing applicants (again, in the case of Castle, very very unlikely).
Really hope I’ve nailed the explanation this time!
Reply 10
And yes, the system means a few Clearing people will end up in the more popular colleges that those who firmed and chose much earlier, did t get and still don’t.

But actually 5ish numbers are probably quite small. I suspect they keep some places in the less popular colleges for clearing. Last year, more students missed their offers and others came through clearing so maybe more reallocating was needed.

As everything settles post-Covid and becomes more predictable hopefully the algorithm works better and less reallocation happens….but an element of it will always be necessary. If you’ve been given a less popular college, reallocation is less likely. Perhaos it would be more disappointing g to get a. Top choice and then be reallocated post results?
Reply 11
Some people advocate strategic ranking of colleges. Put your top choice first. Put several you’d really not want last. Put 2-6 those you think are okay but know are less popular.
You will hen more likely get one of top 6 choices and avoid bottom options. If you’re in no2-6 you’re also less likely to get reallocated,

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