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Briefing note published on supporting prospective students during pandemic

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@officestudents (OfS) has today released a briefing note on the different ways in which universities, colleges and other organisations are providing information, advice and guidance to prospective students intending to start a higher education course in autumn 2020.

UCAS data shows that, by the middle of January, over 568,000 prospective students had applied to university. With decision deadlines now imminent, the coronavirus pandemic is creating a huge amount of uncertainty in the decision making process for these and many more subsequent applicants.

The briefing note looks at how universities, colleges and others are supporting prospective students through this decision making process while the kinds of face-to-face and campus-based activities they would normally offer are unavailable. The case studies featured in the note show approaches including:

  • collating resources such as FAQs, virtual tours and videos of information talks into a central coronavirus hub
  • providing individualised support through online chat functions, email, telephone and Unibuddy accounts
  • running live open, applicant and offer-holder days through video conferencing
  • using social media channels to engage with prospective students.

Today’s briefing note is the fifth in a series designed to share the approaches which universities and colleges have taken to support students during the pandemic. The series does not constitute regulatory advice but focuses on sharing ideas and responses to challenges faced by universities and colleges during the pandemic.

Earlier today, the OfS published guidance on consumer protection law and how this relates to the information universities and colleges need to provide to prospective students during the pandemic.

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