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The UCAS Applicant - Cardiff's Perspective

4.1     Receipt of Forms

Application forms are received in batches from UCAS on a daily basis. During the height of main cycle (mid Nov — early Dec) up to 500/600 forms may be received daily).

Forms are checked to ensure that we have received all those UCAS thinks it has despatched.

4.2      Screening

When receipt has been logged, EVERY form is screened.

 Screening is undertaken to ensure that each applicant has met prescribed institutional requirements.

Screening identifies:

  • point of entry:  any applicant who has applied to start in a year other than one will be identified in order that the Tutor may be aware that the requirements for Entry with Advanced Standing, as laid out in Senate Modular Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, apply;
  • fee status:  each applicant will be classified as Home, EU or Overseas for fee-paying purposes and Tutors should be aware of this in the management of intake target.  Tutors will be alerted to those applicants for whom final classification cannot be determined at the initial stage.  Further information to establish the correct fee status will be sought from the applicant if an offer is to be made.  In the interim period the applicant will be classified as overseas or EU, as appropriate.  For further information relating to how fee status is determined, see the guidance notes on the resources section on the front page of the guide
  • English language:  applicants who have not achieved GCSE English Language Grade C or equivalent will be identified.  Each Tutor must be satisfied that such applicants have displayed competency in the use of the English Language or demand achievement in an appropriate qualification as part of any offer).  For further information about acceptable English Language qualifications. click here ;
  • age:  all applicants under the age of seventeen years at the beginning of the programme will be identified.  Any offers made to such applicants must be for deferred entry so that the applicant will be aged seventeen on entry.

For programmes operated through the School based admissions procedure, REGIS screen the forms for fee status and criminal conviction only.  Admissions staff in the school are responsible for undertaking any further screening.

A label will be placed in the bottom right hand corner of the front page of the UCAS form if an applicant does not satisfy any one of the institutional entry requirements.  The specific requirement that the applicant has yet to fulfil will be ticked.  Tutors are asked to note the outstanding requirement when making an offer to such applicants.  Achievement of the requirement or alternative action (e.g. deferred entry) must form part of the offer made, where appropriate.

REGIS screening will not take account of applicants who have applied for deferred entry.  Tutors should be aware of applicants who are applying for entry in 2006/7 in the management of the intake target.  Any additional entry requirements required by the School (e.g. basic achievement in GCSE Mathematics) must be checked at School level.

4.3       Distribution

When forms have been screened they are distributed to the appropriate Admissions Tutor.  No copy is retained in REGIS.

In normal circumstances REGIS operates a three day turnaround from the point of receipt to despatch to Admissions Tutor.

In the case of Joint Honours programmes, forms are issued to the first selector.  For all programmes other than those in the former Faculty of Humanities and Social Studies, the home school acts as first selector.  First selector in the former Faculty of Humanities and Social Studies is based on historical precedent and confirmation is reported annually to the HUMS Executive Committee.

4.4       Decision Making

Admissions Tutors must make a decision on each application received.

The decisions available to Tutors are:

  • Reject                      do not make an offer;
  • Conditional              make an offer subject to the conditions specified;
  • Unconditional          make an offer on the basis of qualifications already obtained.  (Applicants will be asked to provide copies of the qualifications obtained.  However if this documentation is not provided the applicant still has an automatic right to come to Cardiff if s/he makes Cardiff their UF choice).

The decision must be written clearly at the bottom of the front page of the UCAS form.  Where a conditional offer is to be made, the conditions of the offer must also be specified, in full.  Schools may attach a stamp or label to the front of the UCAS form if a standard offer is used, but Tutors must ensure that the offer remains person specific (i.e. any elements of the standard offer that do not apply to the individual must be deleted). 

Forms must be signed or initialled by the Admissions Tutor.  Tutors are asked to notify REGIS of support staff who assist with the offer making process in order that their signatures may be recognised.  Forms without a signature/initials will be returned to the Tutor prior to processing.

Joint Honours programmes of study.  A signature from BOTH Admissions Tutors will be required in order for a decision to be processed.  The first selector should forward the form directly to the second selector for signature before the form is returned to REGIS.  REGIS will assume that Admissions Tutors have consulted on a decision if signatures of both Tutors responsible for a Joint Honours programme are present on the UCAS form.  Forms with both Tutors’ signatures will be returned to the Tutor whose signature is missing before a decision will be processed.

Decisions should be made promptly.  UCAS operate reject by default procedures which mean that, unless a decision is transmitted to UCAS by a specific date, the application will be rejected automatically.

REGIS will issue Admissions Tutors with Outstanding Decision Lists (ODLs) at appropriate times within the application cycle.  ODLs advise Tutors of applicants with outstanding decisions who will be rejected by forthcoming reject by default deadlines unless a decision is made and transmitted to UCAS.  If Tutors do not have application forms relating to these applicants, they can view the application information via the UCAS weblink.  This information is password protected. Contact Sally Duval in REGIS for access details.

A copy of this information can be printed from the weblink, but copies should not be used to inform REGIS of a decision.  If the original application form has been lost, contact the relevant member of staff in the REGIS admissions team, who will provide you with a copy.

REGIS will issue monthly management information reports (Admissions Applicant Status Report and Admissions Statistics Report) to allow Tutors to manage their intake targets.  Reports will be issued to each Admissions Tutor and will contain data relevant to the programmes for which they are responsible.  Tutors using Business Objects have the facility to run this reports at any time.  However Tutors should be aware that the Admissions Statistics Report runs on the basis of a snapshot taken on the first of each month and as such figures will not be updated during the course of the month.  If updated statistics are required, Tutors should use the Admissions Total Applications Report, which is only available via Business Objects.

Tutors using SIMS can use the Retrieve and Quick Analysis features on SIMS to procure accurate statistical data at any given time.

4.5       Transmission of Decisions to UCAS

All decisions are input to SIMS by the REGIS Admissions Team or by admissions staff in the schools operating the schools based admissions procedure. They are processed in chronological order according to the date received from the Admissions Tutor.

In normal circumstances, offers will be processed within five working days of receipt.

The validity of offers is not checked by REGIS staff.

To ensure the accurate transposition of the Admissions Tutor’s decision to UCAS, an independent member of staff checks all offers input to SIMS before the daily file is sent to UCAS.

An electronic file is sent to UCAS daily at 4.15pm and includes all amendments to applicant records (including decisions) made that day.

A daily incoming file is received from UCAS each morning and all decisions processed are acknowledged.

UCAS issue applicants with offer letters, based on the decisions transmitted in the daily outgoing file from Cardiff.  Decisions about applications must only be sent to applicants through UCAS, so the only offer letter an applicant receives should be from UCAS.  Any additional letters you wish to send as Admissions Tutor should make it clear that offers are sent through UCAS and should not purport to make any offer or set out the conditions of any offer which the applicant can expect to receive via UCAS.  Similarly, replies to offers can only be made by applicants through UCAS, to time scales outlined in the timetables in the previous section.  Representatives of the University must not ask for replies or any form of commitment from applicants.  Pressure should not be exerted nor inducements offered (e.g. lowering the terms of a conditional offer if Cardiff is made the firm choice) to an applicant to make decisions in favour of the institution.