Northern Ireland news

Two in five teens receive unconditional university offers

Unconditional offers can be made where providers are satisfied that an individual has demonstrated sufficient attainment and potential to succeed

TWO in every five teenagers applying to start university this year have received an unconditional offer.

The number of unconditional offers made to 18-year-olds from Northern Ireland, England and Wales has risen dramatically in five years.

Such offers do not have any further academic requirements the student needs to meet. This means A-levels results will not be taken into consideration.

They have always been a part of the admissions process and are used in a variety of circumstances, including to mature students who have already achieved qualifications.

They may also be made to those applying for creative arts courses, after submitting a portfolio, or following a successful interview or audition.

Admissions service Ucas said this year almost two in five (38 per cent) of 18-year-olds received an offer "that could be considered unconditional".

There were 97,045 students who received an offer with an unconditional component. This was a rise from 87,540 in 2018.

"Students' best interests must be the number one consideration for universities and colleges when making offers," said Clare Marchant UCAS Chief Executive.

"We have expanded our information and advice to students on all types of offers, as well as producing a series of good practice resources to support admissions teams when making unconditional offers.

"The use of unconditional offers remains a complex issue and continues to evolve. We look forward to working with the Office for Students and Universities UK on their respective upcoming admissions practice reviews, to deliver meaningful recommendations."

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