Students could apply for university places after A-level results

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has backed a review of university admissions amid ‘deeply concerning’ levels of unconditional offers.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson (Joe Giddens/PA)
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson (Joe Giddens/PA)

Students could apply for university places after they receive their A-level results, following a review of admissions.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has backed the assessment by regulator the Office for Students (OfS) amid “deeply concerning” levels of unconditional offers.

The MP for South Staffordshire said: “We have to fight to keep the public trust and respect in our world-leading universities and to me that means a relentless focus on quality.

“I’m also concerned about how some universities are recruiting students, in particular a worrying rise in unconditional offers.

“I recognise that we need to review if the current system is working as well as it can, so I am glad the OfS is looking at whether it would be in students’ interests to apply for their university place after they have their A-level results.”

Mr Williamson also backed the regulator’s investigation into whether “conditional unconditional” university places are a breach of consumer rights.

“Conditional unconditional” offers are when institutions make a conditional offer to a student and then upgrade this to unconditional if the youngster accepts the school as their first choice

Earlier this week, Mr Williamson condemned the use of these offers with strings attached and said they can limit disadvantaged teenagers.

The Education Secretary told the Universities UK conference: “I don’t think there’s any place for conditional unconditional offers at all.

“I can’t see why any institution should be offering it, because there’s a lot of evidence to point out it’s sometimes those youngsters from the… it sometimes limits youngsters from the most disadvantaged backgrounds from actually going to the very best academic institution that they possibly could do, and I don’t want to see that at all.”

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