ADMISSION PROCEDURESCategory: Education
Students are admitted to British universities largely on the basis of their performance in the examinations for the General Certificate of Education at ordinary and advanced level. The selection procedure is rather complicated. It has been designed to combine as much freedom as possible for the universities to choose the students they want with as much freedom as possible for students to choose the university they want. This was done by setting up in 1954 the Universities Central Council on Admissions (UCCA).
A student who wants to go to university usually applies for admission before he takes his Advanced level examinations. First of all he must write to the Universities Central Council on Admissions and they send him a form which he has to complete. On this form he has to write down the names of six universities in order of preference. He may put down only two or three names, stating that if not accepted by these universities he would be willing to go to any other. This form, together with an account of his out- of-school activities and two references, one of which must be from the headteacher of his school, is then sent back to the UCCA.
The UCCA sends photocopies of the form and enclosures to the universities concerned. Each applicant is first considered by the university admission board. In some cases the board sends the applicant a refusal. This may happen, for example, if the board receives a form in which their university is the applicant’s sixth choise and the university already has many candidates. If there are no reasons for immediate refusal, the university admission officer passes the candidate’s papers on to the academic department concerned. One or two members of this department will then look at the candidate’s application: see what he says about himself, look at his marks at the ordinary level examinations, see what his head- teacher and other referee say about him. On the basis of this, the department may make the candidate an offer (either a definite offer or a conditional one) or send him a definite rejection. A definite offer is usually made if the candidate has already two passes at Advanced level.
As a rule the department makes a conditional offer. This means that the candidate will be accepted by the university if he fulfils the requirements stated in the offer. The minimum requirement for admission is a pass in four subjects at Ordinary level and in two subjects at Advanced level, but most universities demand three passes at Advanced level. The more popular universities also demand higher grades in these three subjects. The standard offer is grade В in two subjects and grade С in the third (BBC).
In his turn, the student may accept the offer conditionally.
When the Advanced level examination results come out in August, the university admissions department sees whether the candidate has fulfilled his conditions and, if he has, sends him a definite offer. The candidate must accept or refuse within 72 hours.