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Higher Education: Admissions

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what guidance his Department has issued to higher education institutions on keeping places available for those students waiting for their A-level papers to be re-marked. (163550)

Admissions are a matter for individual higher education institutions (HEIs) who, as independent bodies, have discretion over their own admission policies and procedures. The Department does not therefore issue guidance in this area.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) have told us that HEIs which are members of the UCAS scheme will keep a place open for an applicant, in the event of a missing or queried exam result, up to 31 August unless an earlier date has been agreed.

Latest published figures on the number of inquiries about results and appeals are available on the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority website at: The Department does not collect information on the number of HE admissions affected by those inquiries and appeals.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what guidance he has issued on inclusion of information about the university experience of their parents by applicants to universities. (173381)

[holding answer 11 December 2007]: The inclusion of an optional question relating to parental education on the UCAS application form was the result of a decision taken by the UCAS Board, which the Government do not sit on. That decision followed the independent Schwartz review of fair admissions to higher education, which found that it was fair and appropriate to consider contextual factors as well as formal educational achievement, given the variation in learners' opportunities and circumstances. We fully support the move to provide more contextual information to admissions officers and believe such information may help HEIs monitor the effectiveness of their widening participation initiatives. The Government have not issued any guidance on this matter.