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Higher Education: Admissions

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 27 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what steps his Department is taking to ensure that Universities and Colleges Admissions Service applicants are given correct information regarding the status of their applications; (295878)

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of applicants affected by errors in the online system employed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service to allocate university places in 2009.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service is an autonomous organisation funded by its member institutions, and it is responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK. UCAS has provided us with following information. It receives results from the major awarding bodies and having added them to applicant details held at UCAS makes them available to institutions. It is then the institutions' responsibility to make decisions based on this information—updating the applicant's on-line record via UCAS systems accordingly. UCAS then processes these data and communicates the decision to the applicant both online and by letter. Through the online service, applicants were able to view the decisions received by UCAS at all times. UCAS informs us that on no occasion during this application cycle were any errors made by them in the processing of decisions.