UUK to examine equitable admissions and agent conduct

User Profile Image

By admin

Posted on February 5, 2024


3 min read

Whatsapp Facebook LinkedIn

In order to provide assurance that the admissions process is “fair, transparent, and robust,” the Universities UK board, speaking for 142 university members, has announced a number of urgent measures.

It added that there has been a “significant focus” on foreign student recruitment tactics in recent weeks and committed to reviewing the Agent Quality Framework and the quality and comparability of programs for both domestic and international students. It will also incorporate an updated version of its Admissions Code of Practice that explicitly states how it applies to international recruitment.

It comes after a widely criticized study by the foreign education sector in a prominent national newspaper, which claimed that international students may enroll in UK university courses more readily than domestic students.

The item was deemed “not true” because it failed to mention that enrollment in international foundation programs, which are the UK equivalent of A-Levels, did not ensure enrollment in degree programs at universities. These admission standards are the same as those that apply to at-home learners.

Some in the industry did concede, though, that fast-track International Year One programs need to be closely examined because they might provide foreign students with a “simple path” to year two of a bachelor’s degree.

“There has been a significant focus on recruitment practices relating to international students in recent weeks,” stated a statement from UUK.

“We acknowledge the concern this has caused for students, their parents, and the public, and it is crucial that they all, along with the government, have confidence that the system is fair, transparent, and robust, even though many aspects of the reporting misrepresented the admissions process and criteria.”

Earlier this week, the Department of Education declared that it would look into any unethical behavior related to agents. The House of Lords has also discussed the matter.

On February 1, Baroness Barran, the parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Education, stated, “To be clear, our work will focus particularly on the unscrupulous behavior of recruitment agents, and whether it is genuinely easier for international students than for domestic students to get places on undergraduate courses.”

But in England, where UK students make up 85% of the population, there is little indication that foreign students are replacing domestic ones. I don’t yet have a set timeframe to provide, but we will be working on this urgently. According to UUK, QAA will quickly evaluate foreign foundation programs and compare them to domestic foundation programs, including admission requirements.

In collaboration with partners and the government, UUK will update the AQF, guarantee its implementation throughout the industry, and offer suggestions on how to identify harmful practices. More than a hundred universities have subscribed to the Admissions Code of Practice, which UUK will also update as needed to “signpost where the Code is expected to apply to international recruitment.”