This check does not appear to have corrected this error. The wording remains very focused on systems, not people, and it is hard to believe that candidates can make reasoned judgments about the fairness of admission if they are not aware of the criteria. If there is no other body responsible for concentrating these principles on applicants, each university should inform and collect information on how applicants believe the principles are being respected. If you haven`t been looking forward to the delayed release of the UUK entrance exam, Friday`s post may have escaped you without disappointment. This is largely a confirmation of the attitude adopted by the FSOs at the beginning of the year and not a new recommendation and a response to the years-long concern that such practices were unfair. There are also many exceptions that may allow unconditional offers, so that some admissions professionals may soon be tasked with developing an appropriate “additional application procedure” to confirm places for certain candidates prior to the exam results. The original principles of Fair Admissions, derived from the 2004 journal Schwartz, are long overdue, although other organizations such as Supporting Professionalism in Admissions (SPA) and QA have re-evaluated them over the past decade. PQA is a very long construction and UUK is only the latest in a long series of sectoral voices it supports. Whether or not you prefer the CAA (in one of its many forms), now is the time to shift the debate to making sure it delivers on its promises.
Like the current authorisation procedure, it will not necessarily be the system that is unfair, but the way it is used. It should be reassuring to see that this comprehensive revision has not been largely without prejudice to principles. Most of the changes are explanations; the substance is the same. The main change is to focus on fairness from the point of view of applicants and not institutions. This comfortably reflects the ofS approach and is an important clarification. The SPA was created from the Schwartz journal to advise universities and higher education institutions on equitable admissions and had no task of getting in touch with applicants or their advisors until the end of the funding. Contextual admissions are a long-standing project in the Euro and huge resources in money, time and effort have been spent with mixed results. The review highlights that awareness of contextual offers appears to be the lowest among the candidates who would benefit the most. UCAS also reacted quickly, extending deadlines, immediately obtaining revised results and keeping the sector informed. However, there was no single “voice” of fair permissions that would challenge Ofsted`s claims that its algorithm was fair or tested those claims against the principles of fair authorization. Many were surprised and registration professionals across the country worked feverishly to solve the problems.
Although the principles of fair authorization were easily removed from the audit, some practices were not highlighted. This highlights the negative effects of incentives, particularly “unconditional conditional” offers, and although other proponents of fair permissions have previously criticized such behavior, this recommendation seems more likely to be. It is wise to remove any remaining ambiguity by such a clear call for a judgment and should make it easier for registration officers to cite their concerns in the future. I remain convinced that genuine accountability behind the principles of fair authorisation can gradually lead us to anticipate unfair practices. We need to be better prepared to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly by assessing and reducing risks to that fairness in advance. At the time of the letter, HE providers are still responsible for who and how they authorize students, which means it is our duty, no one else, to ensure that we are fair to those seeking accreditation. The pandemic is an extreme case, but the management of external injustice is a real test of the fairness of our recruitment and selection.