Higher education even with the increase in the university fees to £9250.00 to UK/EU students has gone up to 49% based on the new statistic.  According to UCAS there has been a huge rise in the number of unconditional offers being made to students for university places, meaning that nearly a quarter (23%) of applicants received such an offer, that is 18-year-olds from England, Northern Ireland, and Wales has risen by 65,930 over the past five years - from 2,985 in 2013 to 67,915 in 2018.

Ucas figures show there were 254,700 18-year-olds from England, Northern Ireland and Wales applying to university and presently, when a student applies in their 5 desired universities, they are getting 7.1% unconditional offer from all the universities, meaning a degree course place is secured regardless of the grades they achieve.

This rise in the unconditional offer is from the data comes as the cap on the number of students a university can admit has been lifted and the population of 18-year-olds is falling.

Government view

According to Sam Gyimah, Universities Minister, who is not impressed by the figures. He stated that "The rise in unconditional offers is completely irresponsible to students, and universities must start taking a lead, by limiting the number they offer,".

"Places at universities should only be offered to those who will benefit from them, and giving out unconditional offers just to put 'bums on seats' undermines the credibility of the university system.

What is an unconditional offer?

When universities make an offer to prospective students, the offer can either be conditional or unconditional.

A conditional offer usually specifies the grades a student needs to achieve in their A-levels, BTecs, or any other relevant qualification before they are fully accepted on to a course.

Unconditional offers do not have any further academic requirements the student needs to meet - in other words, the place is guaranteed before exams are even taken.

Ucas says they have, traditionally, been offered to:

  • mature students who have already achieved their qualifications
  • those applying for creative arts courses, after submitting a portfolio, or following a successful audition
  • reduce the stress some students may feel during the exam period
  • attract and retain interest from students in a competitive marketplace


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