MPs to probe universities' unconditional offers

From BBC - February 15, 2018

MPs are to review whether students applying to universities are being offered unconditional places in order to secure their fees.

The number of unconditional offers made by universities rose more than 17-fold in five years.

Unconditional offers mean students do not have to worry about the grades they get in their A-levels.

Robert Halfon, Conservative chair of the Education Select Committee, said he was "very concerned" about the issue.

"It's one of the reasons why our committee is doing a value-for-money inquiry into universities and higher education.

"I think part of it is unfortunately just to do with resources and funding.

"I think that the universities want the courses filled; they get the public subsidy from the loan. I think that's why they are making these unconditional offers and why they have increased so greatly," he added.

According to figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), in 2013, 2,985 unconditional offers were made to 18-year-old applicants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

By 2017, that figure had risen to 51,615.

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