The government has confirmed that it will not be pursuing a policy of post-qualification admissions (PQA) to Higher Education (HE) at this time.
Following extensive consultation last year, the Department for Education (DfE) has decided that a reform of this scale to HE admissions would be a significant undertaking for both the HE and the school and college systems.
Many respondents to the consultation highlighted the need for the sector to focus on educational and exam recovery as a priority, rather than wholesale system reform. Whilst there was some support for post-qualification admissions, it was not strong enough to indicate that now is the right time for major upheaval.
Two-thirds of respondents were in favour of change to a PQA system in principle, but many respondents were concerned by the practical implications of how it could operate. 60% of respondents felt that the proposed models of PQA would be either worse than, or no better than, current arrangements. HE stakeholders overall were less in favour of changing the current HE admissions system.
The consultation outcomes showed that A Level and Level 3 students and university students valued some aspects of the current system but were critical of others. The majority of students supported the idea of receiving and accepting their offers from universities based on their actual grades.
The DfE says it will continue to work with UCAS and sector bodies to improve transparency, reduce the use of unconditional offers, and reform the personal statement to improve fairness for applicants of all backgrounds.