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UCU response to UCAS report

16 December 2020

UCU said there is still a lot work to do close the inequalities in the university admissions system, and that more funding is needed to address student mental health and staff welfare.

The union was responding to UCAS's End of Cycle report, which gives an overview of demand and acceptances to UK higher education for the 2020 admissions cycle. 

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'This report highlights that there is still a lot of work to do to close the inequalities in the university admissions system. 

'The continued increase in unconditional offers shown in this report only strengthens the case for fundamental reform of university admissions. As the government has finally acknowledged, the current system is fundamentally unfair and disadvantages students from less affluent backgrounds. UCU has been campaigning for a move to a post-qualification admissions system to help create a fairer system, and we must ensure that staff and student voices are central to any review. 

'The report also shows more students with diagnosed mental health conditions are going to university. The Covid crisis has had a significant impact on mental health; staff have had to pick up the pieces, constantly adjusting their teaching to ever-changing government guidelines and management demands, whilst colleagues and students yo-yo in and out of self-isolation. We need to see a big increase in government funding to properly address staff and student welfare throughout the pandemic and beyond.' 

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