Vice chancellor joins University leaders to urge the overhaul of the Unconditional Offer System

Updated: May 7, 2021

By Chloe Olivia Sladden

In a recent article by Joe Buchanunn, from Brunel University; it was announced a group of university leaders wrote a letter asking for the unconditional offer system for students to be regulated. This is due to the significant rise in the number of university applicants who are receiving at least one unconditional offer.

The signature from the University of Hertfordshire was Professor Quintin McKellar, the Victoria Chancellor.

A published letter in The Times shows the concern these leaders have expressed about the effect of unconditional offers.

Buchanunn, suggested in the article: that leaders were afraid the offers would “skew University choices, and reduce the motivation and quality of sixth-form”.

According to the article UCAS, said: “offers [have] increased from fewer than 3,000 in 2013 to nearly 68,000 in 2018”.

However, the university leaders are not suggesting that all unconditional offers should be banned but regulated. For example, the article said that students needn’t feel forced to accept an unconditional offer until they have all university offers in. So, if a student does get such an offer, it could be accepted as a firm or insurance choice.

It could be argued by students like myself, that unconditional offers don’t necessarily harm students. Most may still want to work hard to have good grades and/or showed they deserved the offer. Students can continue to work hard for very good grades but without the pressure of what will happen if the worst happens.

Also, unconditional offers could be said, to still be given out to those who are likely to get good grades anyway, and there’s nothing wrong with giving the offer to someone who deserves it.

However, the university leaders in the letter, suggest changes to how unconditional offers are given out. The aim of this is probably to let students have less pressure when accepting an offer and still be motivated to achieve good grades.

Only time will tell, if any new changes are put into place and how a new system for unconditional offers could work for future students.

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