Applications to Higher Education Courses, 2007-2015
- Applications to Higher Education Courses, 2007-2015
- Principal investigator(s):
- University and College Admissions Service (UCAS)
- Data collector(s):
- University and College Admissions Service (UCAS)
Abstract copyright ADRN.
The Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) is responsible for administering applications to Higher Education in the UK, as a result collecting and processing data related to all full time undergraduate applications to Higher Education Providers (HEPs) in the UK. The Applications to Higher Education Courses data contains applications data provided by UCAS.
UCAS application journey:
The basic procedure for an applicant applying to undertake a course of Higher Education through UCAS is as follows: Applicants apply to their choice of five courses (six choices up to 2008), with potential to add additional applications through the Extra service, via UCAS who then collate the offers or rejections from these providers. Based on any offers made, the applicant then picks their firm and insurance choice (applicants with known exam results, receive 'unconditional' offers and select a 'firm' choice). Exam results from the awarding bodies are transferred to providers, some via UCAS, in the summer. Applicants are then accepted or not depending on whether they have met their conditions or not.
The UCAS dataset:
The UCAS dataset contains information on applicants, their applications offers, acceptances and refusals onto courses. Examples of some of the variables contained within the UCAS data include: age, previous school type, clearing acceptances, subject, domiciled country of residence (UK only), ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic status. The information is stored on several datasets and is linked using a Unique Applicant Number (UAN).
Features of the UCAS Dataset:
UCAS data are well audited and data quality concerns are minimal. Higher Educations Providers who use UCAS can vary year to year, so it is important to consider how changes could affect the analysis of the data. Currently the number of HEPs who process their part time applications through UCAS is small but this number is set to increase in the future. Note that, up to 2008, applicants were able to make six course choices via UCAS, after which five course choices were provided.
Research Usage Potential:
UCAS uses their data to help answer a range of research questions including distances that students would travel to attend higher education and can be applied to a range of research questions regarding application and acceptances and refusals to higher education courses in the UK. The demographic information contained within the UCAS data can be used to monitor higher education take up rates for different socio-economic and ethnic groups. UCAS data have also been used as part of the English Indices of Deprivation to help assess the proportion of students under the age of 21 not entering higher education. Examples of previous research are detailed under Publications, below.
Data through ADRN: UCAS has made university and college admissions data from 2007-2015 application rounds, with linkage potential to other data sources, accessible through the Administrative Data Research Network's (ADRN) secure facilities
Data through UCAS: UCAS continues to publish statistics and datasets through their website.
Through ADRN: currently there is data access and linkage potential through ADRN's secure access facilities provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), ADRN's Administrative Data Research Centres (ADRCs) will be providing this facility in the future. This will help researchers understand wider educational issues.
Through UCAS: it is not possible to link UCAS data to other educational datasets.
Coverage, universe, methodology
- Time period:
- Observation units:
- Kind of data:
Individual (micro) level
All full time undergraduate applications to Higher Education Providers (HEPs) in the UK.
- Time dimensions:
Repeated cross-sectional study
- Sampling procedures:
No sampling (total universe)
- Number of units:
- Around 700,000 applications each year
- Method of data collection:
Compilation or synthesis of existing material
HE Applicants apply to their choice of five courses (six choices up to 2008) via UCAS who then collates the offers or rejections from these providers. Based on any offers made, the applicant then picks their firm and insurance choice (applicants with known exam results, receive 'unconditional' offers and select a 'firm' choice). Exam results from the awarding bodies are transferred to providers, some via UCAS, in the summer.
- Frequency of release:
- Data Updated:
Administrative and access information
- Crown copyright
- Access conditions:
- Contact the Network
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By principal investigator(s):
Resulting from secondary analysis:
- Craik, C., Wyatt-Rollason, T. (2002) 'Characteristics of Students who enter Occupational Therapy Education through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) Clearing System', British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(11), pp. 488-494.
- Connor, H., Tyres, C., Modood, T. (2004) Why the Difference? A Closer Look at Higher Education Minority Ethnic Students and Graduates, Department for education and skills.
- Noble, M., McLennan, D., Wilkinson, K., Whitworth K., Barnes, H., Dibben, C. (2008) The English Indices of Deprivation 2007, Communities and Local Government.
- Cowling, M. (2009) 'The Geographical Distribution of UK Talent: Causes and consequences'.
- Department for Employment and Learning (2010) Northern Ireland domiciled Higher Education applicants: An analysis of UCAS data - 2008/09 academic year, Department for Employment and Learning.
- HEFCE (2010) Aim higher summer schools. Participants and progression to higher education, HEFCE.
- HEFCE (2010) Trends in young participation in higher education: core results for England, HEFCE.
- Communities and Local Government (2011) The English Indices of Deprivation 2010, Communities and Local Government.
- Croxford, L., Raffe, D. (2011) 'Applicants and entrants through UCAS to the UK's differentiated full-time HE system 1996-2010'.
- Croxford, L., Raffe, D. (2011) 'The social, demographic and educational characteristics of applicants and entrants to full-time HE in the UK 1996-2010'.
- Curtis+Cartwright Consulting (2011) Evaluation of HEFCE's programme of support for Strategically Important and Vulnerable Subjects, HEFCE.
- Broecke, S. (2012) 'University selectivity and earnings: Evidence from UK data on applications and admissions to university', Economics of Education Review, 31(2), pp. 96-107. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.econedurev.2012.02.005