BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Thursday, 22 May, 2003, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
Uni admissions review spelt out
The government has set out what it expects from a new taskforce set up to bring more "openness and transparency" to university admissions.

The group, which will be led by Brunel's vice-chancellor, Professor Steven Schwartz, is being set up to ensure access to university is fair - and that universities try to encourage poorer students to apply.

It will draw up a set of principles universities should follow when they set out their admissions criteria.

The taskforce will also check whether universities are following the principles and will "aim to reinforce public confidence in the fairness and transparency of admission arrangements".

But the government insists universities will keep control of the admissions process and will not be set targets on the number of poorer students admitted.


Education Secretary Charles Clarke said: "Admissions to universities are a matter for universities themselves and generally they operate in a fair way.

"However, the sector could benefit from a set of guiding principles that could bring some transparency and openness to admissions policy.

"Professor Schwartz has assembled a strong and diverse team who will identify good practice and recommend a set of guiding principles which I hope all universities will adopt."

The taskforce's establishment comes in the wake of continued accusations of bias in university admissions - both for and against state-school pupils.

Independent schools recently attacked Bristol University, claiming it was discriminating against their pupils in favour of those from state-schools. Bristol denied the claims.

Those on the taskforce are:

  • Prof Sir Colin Campbell, Vice-Chancellor, University of Nottingham
  • Pauline Davies, Headmistress, Wycombe Abbey School, High Wycombe
  • John Gardiner, Chairman, Tesco.
  • Janet Graham, Head of the Admissions Office, University of Cambridge
  • Prof Sir Howard Newby, Chief Executive, Higher Education Funding Council for England
  • Mr Peter Lampl, Chairman, Sutton Trust
  • Mr Anthony McClaran, acting Chief Executive, UCAS
  • John Morgan, Headteacher, Conyers School, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees
  • Dr Bernadette Porter, Rector and Chief Executive, University of Surrey Roehampton
  • Dr Alan Stanhope, Principal, Cornwall College of Further Education, St Austell

    Improving university admissions
    20 May 03  |  Education
    'Fair access' test for universities
    08 Apr 03  |  Education
    Private schools 'boycott' Bristol
    04 Mar 03  |  Education
    Bristol denies admissions bias
    26 Feb 03  |  Education

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


    News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
    Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
    Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
    Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific