Report 1: Report on Admission Trends in Undergraduate English: statistics and attitudes

Student recruitment / Retention

Overview

This Report, for the English Subject Centre, is in two parts, comprising an analysis of the available data, and an attitude survey of young people in the 16-18 age range.

It is clear from the Report that fears about the popularity of English were unfounded, and that although application numbers were down, while acceptances were up, the upward profile in qualification levels indicated an increase in the quality of English students upon entry. However, it is evident that although we now have, for the first time, a picture of current trends in the round, there are significant differences in the local effects of admissions in different institutions. Changes in the funding mechanism, the removal (in 2002-3) of the MASN (Maximum Aggregate Student Number) which effectively restricted institutions’ expansion, and institutional behaviours following funding shifts determined by the RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) of 2002 will further complicate these local effects.

The Centre’s report was based, necessarily, on the best reliable information available, but this could not include the huge numbers of students taking English in combination with other subjects in Universities and Colleges, since the way that such students are recorded by institutions, and then classified by HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency), the Funding Councils, or UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) means that they are always aggregated under a generic heading (Combined Studies) from which it is impossible to extricate those doing English.

Author: Sadie Williams
Published: April 2002
ISBN: 0 90219 443 7

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