Regulator continues its attack on unconditional offers

On 23 Jul 2020 the OfS reported that it is concerned that unconditional offers are encouraging wrong decisions to be made by potential students, resulting in a heightened risk of drop out at the end of year one of their studies.

The OfS reports that “A-level entrants who accepted an unconditional offer in 2017-18 had a continuation rate between 0.4 and 1.1 percentage points lower than would have been expected had they taken up a conditional offer instead. This translates to between 70 and 175 of the 15,725 A-level entrants placed through unconditional offers that year.

UCAS analysis published in December 2019 found that applicants holding an unconditional offer in the 2019 cycle were, on average, 11.5 percentage points more likely to miss their predicted A-level grades by three or more grades. Today’s analysis by the OfS suggests that this lower A-level attainment then results in higher dropout rates in higher education.”

The OfS had previously banned ‘conditional unconditional’ offers until September 2021 aiming to prevent HEIs ‘pressure selling’ to recruit students during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

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