UCAS Admissions 2020 – update

UCAS Admissions 2020 – update

The Office for Students (OfS) – the independent regulator for higher education in England – has today provided some further clarification around the UCAS admissions 2020 process. This alleviates some of the concerns of students planning to go to university in September.

The regulator warned that it could impose substantial financial penalties on universities and colleges that change their admissions strategies because of financial pressures related to the coronavirus pandemic. The full press release can be read here.

Moreover, a package of support measures for the higher education (HE) sector and students in light of Covid-19 has been announced. These include:

  • The OfS regulating against any practices deemed harmful to the sector and students (including making large volumes of unconditional or very low offers)
  • Universities being able to use funds to increase hardship funds for students and Clearing Plus. In terms of student number controls, these would allow universities to recruit full-time, domestic students up to 5 per cent above their forecasts in the next academic year. Students should be assured that if they have met the terms of their offer, their places are secure. A summary of the full support package can be found at https://wonkhe.com/.

The BBC is currently running a readers’ questions blog, including students’ questions relating to the higher education admissions process.

Student Finance for UCAS admissions 2020

Updated advice regarding Student finance applications, and if parent circumstances have changed since applying can be sought here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-for-prospective-students

The BBC has written that students taught online will still have to pay full fees, according to the government


Some offer holders may have already been invited to apply for accommodation. If they haven’t yet, then they will soon. Our Independent Careers Advisor Wendy Watson provides the latest update:

Universities are currently developing plans on how accommodation will work and not making full guarantees as per their usual policies. It is likely they will have to follow social distancing measures. I have asked whether it is advised that students make contingency plans (as this might also influence students’ firm offer decisions if not yet made) and was advised that students should speak to their preferred/firm offer university and see what they are planning in the first instance.

For more advice on preparing for university during the coronavirus pandemic, please read Mrs Watson’s blog.