January 2021

University College Birmingham calls for extension of applications deadline

By Melanie Hall

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University College Birmingham is strongly urging UCAS to extend its deadline for applications to relieve unnecessary pressure on pupils and teachers following the sudden closure of schools due to the current full lockdown.  

Alice Wilby, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Access, Participation and Student Experience, said they were calling for the organisation behind the applications process for British universities to push back its cut-off date of 15 January.  

“In light of the current situation and the impact on pupils and teachers who are trying to meet the UCAS deadline, we strongly advocate for allowing equal consideration for all students by extending the UCAS deadline,” she said.  

“This is in direct response to the continued uncertainty which many pupils and teachers are currently facing as they rush to complete personal statements and obtain references to secure their place at university this September.  

“Extending the UCAS deadline would ensure that teachers can provide online support for pupils completing personal statements and, ultimately, providing equal consideration to all applicants who aspire to higher education.  

“I am sure other universities would wish to support this action and we would encourage UCAS to make this a national policy.” 

She added that as a provider of both further and higher education courses serving a very diverse cohort of students, many of whom are from areas of significant disadvantage, the University knew first-hand of the challenges on the ground. 

“We are acutely aware of the pressures on our current Level 3 students as they consider their higher education options for next year,” she said. "We know that this uncertainty is being replicated in schools and colleges across the country." 

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