School, college, student, university and UCAS leaders to review admissions.

A review of university admissions practices will ensure they are fair, transparent and operating in the best interests of students.

Universities UK is establishing the ‘Fair admissions review’ to:

  • Collect evidence on how admissions practices work and to identify the main challenges linked to admissions and offer-making practices including unconditional and contextual offers.
  • Review whether the 2004 Schwartz principles on fair admissions in higher education remain valid.
  • Recommend best practice in offer making and propose changes that will ensure that university admissions work in the best interests of applicants and are fit for purpose in a rapidly changing post-18 education environment.

The ‘Fair admissions review’ advisory group will consist of UCAS, school, college, student, and university representatives. Its recommendations, due in spring 2020, will be informed by best practice from across the UK.

Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said:

“This review will establish the evidence, best practice and inform the debate around university admissions. It will determine whether different types of offers operate in the best interests of students and are fair to all. Universities will continue to make their own decisions on offers, but the review aims to build greater levels of transparency, trust and public understanding in admissions practices.”

Clare Marchant, UCAS’ Chief Executive, said:

“We absolutely welcome the Universities UK review of admissions practices and look forward to working with the project advisory group to deliver meaningful recommendations. Students’ best interests must be the paramount consideration for universities and colleges when making offers. It’s essential that students are supported to make informed choices and the right decisions about their future.”

Beth Linklater, Assistant Principal, Queen Mary's College, Basingstoke, and Chair of UCAS’ Secondary Education Advisory Group, said:

“Choosing a university course is one of the biggest decisions many young people will make. This review is an excellent opportunity to see how university admissions can be improved so that all applicants are able to find the university place which is right for them.” 

UCU response to Universities UK admissions review: 

"An overhaul of university admissions is long overdue but should be informed by students and staff directly involved in the admissions process, the University and College Union (UCU) said today.

"The union was responding to an announcement from Universities UK that it is launching a new review into fair admissions. It said any review needed to be wide-reaching and listen to the growing calls for a move to a fairer system of post-qualification admissions."

Acting general secretary Paul Cottrell said:

"A comprehensive overhaul of university admissions is long overdue, so it is good to see this issue getting more attention. However, the review panel has missed a trick by not including any staff directly involved in making offers, or any students who have recently been through the university admissions process. Any reform should be fully informed by the people who it will affect the most.

"There is growing support for a shift to a post-qualification admissions system, where students apply to university after they have received their results. Our research shows such a move would not only be fairer for students, it would bring the UK into line with the rest of the world and eliminate the use of controversial unconditional offers and the chaotic clearing process."

The chair of the ‘Fair admissions review’ advisory group is Professor Paddy Nixon, Vice-Chancellor & President, Ulster University.

Other members are:

  • Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor, Durham University;
  • Debra Gray, Principal, Grimsby Institute;
  • Professor David Green CBE, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of Worcester;
  • Caroline Hoddinott, Headteacher at Haybridge High School and Sixth Form;
  • Tracey Lancaster, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resources), Leeds Beckett University;
  • Beth Linklater, Assistant Principal, Queen Mary's College, Basingstoke;
  • Professor Sally Mapstone, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of St Andrews;
  • Clare Marchant, Chief Executive, UCAS;
  • Mike Nicholson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, University of Bath;
  • Professor Edward Peck; Vice-Chancellor, Nottingham Trent University;
  • Lee Sanders, Registrar and Secretary, University of Birmingham;
  • Holly Staynor, Policy Officer, NUS;
  • Professor Mary Stuart CBE, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lincoln;
  • Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor & Principal, Canterbury Christ Church University;
  • Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor, Aberystwyth University;
  • Jo Wilson, Head of Sixth Form, The Pingle Academy, Derbyshire.

The review will be sensitive to the different contexts that higher education providers are operating in across different UK nations, and work to complement successful initiatives already underway in different parts of the UK.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page