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An update on university admissions for students

1st April 2020

The Covid epidemic is touching everyone’s lives at the moment. While there has been a lot of attention in the media about the impact on jobs and businesses, we know that there is also a huge amount of uncertainty for young people about school exams and university entry.

We don’t know how long schools and colleges are closed for, but it is looking likely that many of the normal end-of-year activities won’t be going ahead as previously planned. For young people finishing their A levels or Highers this is sad news – and not only because you may not get to take your exams. There’s a good chance your year will miss out on leaving balls, post-exams parties, and even the opportunity to say goodbye to teachers and wish classmates well.

We’ve put together this update to try to give some clarity about what is happening with university applications. If you have applied to join an AHP degree course next year, then the best source of official information about what’s happening is UCAS.

For students already at university, your institution should be keeping you up to date about what they are doing, but issues about student finance arrangements are being addressed by the Student Loans Company.

This update is a summary of what we’ve learned from UCAS guidance about courses beginning in September 2020. Bear in mind that things are changing fast. We will do everything we can to keep this website updated but if you’re not sure about something, we’ve got links at the bottom to tell you where else you can find the most up to date information.

At the moment, students looking to begin their courses in September are choosing which offers to accept as their first choice and insurance places. The Government has banned universities from offering unconditional places to ensure that you don’t feel under pressure to accept a place if you’re not sure about it. The offer deadline in May has been extended by a couple of weeks to give everyone a bit of breathing room.

As for your exams, the exam boards will award grades for A levels and Highers, based on coursework and other exam results. You can use these to go to your choice of university if you wish, but you are also entitled to sit the exams in Autumn if you prefer or retake the year. The plan is for courses to begin in the Autumn as expected, though obviously a lot depends on how the epidemic plays out over the next few weeks and months. 

More information:

UCAS coronavirus latest https://www.ucas.com/coronavirus-updates-hub

Student Loans Company https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-for-prospective-students

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