Limiting the number of students who can attend each British university, will not prevent the financial catastrophe that institutions may face after the Coronavirus outbreak, warns a report by the University and College Union (UCU).
University are concerned that international and national students may stay away if Covid-19 continues unchecked.
The UK government is negotiating with the university sector to limit the number of students that each institution can admit in September. By doing so, it hopes that this will help some avoid fierce competition if their student admissions drop.
How will coronavirus affect my university application? What if the UK is still inaccessible due to the Coronavirus?
It is unlikely that the UK borders will be closed and that you will not be able to attend a UK university. Next week, on 1st June 2020. some schools are opening. The UK is starting to be open for business again. UK universities, such as Cambridge, have written to students starting in October 2020, to advise them that lectures will be online initially. All UK universities are making preparations to introduce social distancing measures to ensure that they can re-open.
Making a UCAS application, receiving offers, taking tests, waiting for results. The college application process is always a time of anxiety, and the additional uncertainty caused by the closing of schools and colleges and the cancellation of exams makes this even more difficult.
But there are some positive and comforting developments.
Perhaps the best news is that the normal admission process is expected to take place. As the University Minister Michelle Donelan says: “There is no reason to interrupt the usual admission cycle.” In addition, some universities, such as Queen Mary, University of London, have written to students via UCAS to say that they will accept offers of one grade lower for some courses. This is because universities will be concerned about the drop in student numbers.
Despite cancellation of exams, you will receive grades for all their A-level, GCSE, SQA, BTEC, IB and other courses ending in the summer of 2020. Grades will be calculated, using carefully monitored teacher judgments, along with a range of statistical data so that the grades are as fair and robust as possible.
A-levels results will be available on Thursday, August 13 and GCSE results a week later on Thursday, August 20.
There is no need for you to provide anything further to UCAS. Your application will continue, during the admission process, in the same way that it would have done, had you taken your exams . UCAS will continue to receive your grades from the exam boards and schools and will send these grades to your university choices.
After the results
If you are disappointed with their grades or who have not made the grades for your preferred course:
1. There will be a process to allow you to appeal against your grades
2. Following your appeal, an additional series of tests will be conducted as soon as possible in the Autumn. Most universities are willing to adjust their start dates to allow you to receive the results of these exams. There is also the option of deferring for one year and retaking your exams in 2021.
Receipt of university place offers
Universities will continue to send offers and all existing offers will remain current. But they have been stopped from making unconditional offers or changing offers to unconditional until the full guidelines for rating in 2020 are released.
This is because the UK government does not want you to feel pressured to accept an offer due to concerns about the process for deciding grades.
One change that benefits all applicants is the decision to extend the deadline for deciding on offers by two weeks. UCAS will send emails to applicants to confirm the new deadline.
University start dates
University terms are expected to start at the regular time. There are likely to be special start dates for those students who take the additional exams in the Autumn.
These dates, of course, will depend on government guidelines. These are being constantly updated in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Virtual open days
For students who want more information, in-person visits to university open days will not be possible at this time.
Universities are beginning to adapt by moving open days online. Look out for these on social media or by visiting college websites. These virtual open days may include video tours, live performances, and question and answer sessions. Cambridge University main open days are now online on 2 and 3 July.
For expert advice on UK university applications, including to Oxford and Cambridge, please contact us We can provide support with drafting personal statements, interview technique and help in selecting the best university course for you.