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UUK – Perceptions of Fairness, Research for Fair Admissions Review 2019

The Fair Admissions Review sought to ensure that the application process is fair to all applicants. To help achieve this goal, this research aims to:

  • Gauge perceived level of fairness of the different stages of the process and requirements;
  • Explore level of support at each stage;
  • Identify specific elements of the process which could be better supported;
  • Highlight any barriers to preferred choices.
  • Seven in ten (70%) applicants consider the application process fair – one in ten (12%) say it is unfair and one in five (18%) say it is neither fair nor unfair; Those who consider the application process to be unfair most commonly say this is because the career advice they were given wasn’t very helpful (34%) or because the application process was too long (29%).
  • Four in five (79%) applicants say they felt supported by the universities/colleges they applied to during the application process – just one in five (19%) say they felt unsupported.
  • Approaching two thirds agree that the application process works well as it is or that it is fine to apply with predicted grades (64% for both) – almost three in ten disagree with each (28% for both).
  • However, over half (56%) agree that universities/colleges should only make offers after people have received their academic results.

Date Published: 17/02/2020

Categories: Education | GB | Public and communities | Social

Client: Universities UK


Savanta ComRes have conducted interviews online with 1,499 adults aged 18+ who have applied to a UK university /college/other HE institution between 2015-2019 and have been UK residents at the time of applying. Data were weighted by age, gender and region in order to be representative of all HE applicants between 2015-2019. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling council and abides by its rules.

  1. UUK_SavantaComRes_Fair-Admission-Survey_Tables_Nov2019 -0 KB.

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