To aabe or not to abbe a very challenging question
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To AABe or not to ABBe (a very challenging question). Paul Teulon – Head of Admissions King’s College , London. Student Number Control (AAB). 1990s through to mid-2000s – student number expansion Late 2000s – student number controls tightened up, demand for places starts to outstrip supply

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To AABe or not to ABBe (a very challenging question)

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To aabe or not to abbe a very challenging question

To AABe or not to ABBe(a very challenging question)

Paul Teulon – Head of Admissions

King’s College , London

Student number control aab

Student Number Control (AAB)

  • 1990s through to mid-2000s – student number expansion

  • Late 2000s – student number controls tightened up, demand for places starts to outstrip supply

  • Selective universities chose to grow PGT and international students rather than UK/EU home

  • Government perhaps seeking levers to increase intake amongst the best HEIs in England

Student number control

Student Number Control

  • Universities can potentially recruit an infinite number of ‘AAB equivalent’ students

  • Universities have a Student Number Control for ‘non-AAB equivalent students’. Small tolerance band, fines imposed if these are not met.

  • Within that a sub-total for SIVs (Strategically Important and Vulnerable Subjects), Physical Sciences and Modern Languages

  • Number of places reduced in SNC to allow for AAB+ growth

Which hei could be affected most

Which HEI could be affected most

  • Oxford and Cambridge

    • 90% AAB+ Tutorial system and costs likely to prohibit growth

  • Russell Group university

    • 60% AAB+ Could grow – but high level of competition

  • Mid-ranking HEI – post 1992

    • 25% AAB+ Might lose out to RG/prestigious HEIs looking to grow

  • Lower ranking HEIs

    • Almost no AAB – reduction in SNC, but predictable

    • Some FE in HE could be awarded some of 20,000 extra places

To aabe or not to abbe a very challenging question


  • If a university wanted to grab more AAB students then could they?

    • Competition from other HEIs

    • Less students applying to university (7-8% in England)

    • Academic Staff in place

    • Staff:Student Ratio – NSS

    • Physical estates constraints

    • Grade requirements in excess of AAB

    • Not all qualifications are equal – Access to HE

    • Around 70,000 AAB+ students in the UK

Who s in and who s out

Who’s in and who’s out

*Teaching too

Offer making

Offer Making

  • Based on predicted grades – only 10% predicted correctly across their base three A-level subjects

  • Students who apply as AAB+ likely to end up as non-AAB?

  • AAB+ offers give the HEIs more control over their SNC

  • Make more offers in case of increased/perceived competition?

Firm and insurance

Firm and Insurance

  • Might students choose to make different decisions with their Firm and Insurance?

  • Firm AAAInsurance AAB

  • Firm AAA Insurance ABB

  • Firm AABInsurance AAB

  • Firm AABInsurance ABB

Aab vs wp


  • AAB encourages selective universities to take more traditional students as Access to HE and other more vocational subjects not included

  • Higher grades mean that a larger proportion of your students are likely to come from independent schools and from traditional backgrounds

  • AAB and WP(OFFA) are perhaps pulling in opposite directions

The teulon matrix

The ‘Teulon’ Matrix


What should students do what should you encourage advise

What should students do, what should you encourage/advise?

  • Better to stick with original choice unless originally aspired to or declined an AAB choice due to lack of confidence in grades

  • Course content/structure check essential

  • May encourage students in 2012/13 to work to achieve ABB or higher to give them a perception of greater choice

  • May encourage grade inflation by Universities in 2012-13

  • Adjustment Period/Changing Choices/Clearing

    • Be realistic about choices and vacancies

    • Check accommodation, scholarships –may not be available

    • Shortlist of 5-10 possible “targets”

    • Check possible vacancies before clearing starts in August

  • What should students do what should you encourage advise1

    What should students do, what should you encourage/advise?

    • 2013 entry: make students aware of ABB issue but play it down

    • 2012: brief meeting/communication with your Y13 students?

    • Avoid complacency or raised expectations

    • Medics – 4,000 unplaced Medics for 2012 entry as of 16th May 2012. Many will achieve AAA-ABB at A level

    • Contact your key feeder Universities - possible flexibility at the ABB-AAB borderline

    • Beware grade inflation – Unistats/Guardian/KIS will have actual UCAS tariff on entry for 2010-11

    • Encourage points/grades spread on future UCAS choices

      x1 aspirational/worth a punt

      x3 on or close to realistic predictions

      x1 good fall-back choice

    Aab and snc aston university position and response

    AAB and SNC – Aston University position and response

    • 35-40% of our students achieved AAB+ or equivalent, higher for ABB+

    • 1,300 “core” places (SNC), 2,000 places overall

    • Require 700 students with AAB+ or equivalent

    • BTEC – all Aston students required DDD from 2010

    • Placement Year Fee (£1,000) and extensive Scholarships also allowed Aston to bid for 290 additional Govt places in the “Margin” despite standard fees of £9,000

    • 70% of Aston students on Sandwich or Year Abroad Degrees with £1,000 or zero fees

    • The Squeezed Middle?

      • AAB+ Aston Excellence Scholarships irrespective of family income (£4,000 over 4 years inc placement year)

    Trading up releasing into clearing changing from cf to ci choice

    “Trading Up”, Releasing into Clearing/changing from CF to CI choice

    • If they are not eligible for adjustment it still frowned upon unless for good reason

    • Will they get accommodation, other uncertainties?

    • Is it really the best choice for them – outside influence?

    • Is it really a “better University?”

    • Are they actually eligible for adjustment?

    • Are they making a rational decision?

    • Likely to increase in 2012 despite Adjustment

    Missed the grades applied late better grades clearing and confirmation

    Missed the grades/Applied Late/Better Grades?Clearing and Confirmation

    • Be proactive

      • Get them ALL to check passwords etc with UCAS Track/Apply

      • Phone (don’t email) and visit

      • Be persistent but realistic

      • Email/text correspondence from Universities common

      • Check accommodation deadlines etc

    • Be flexible, have a Plan B before results day just in case. 2012 entry AAB issue may be interesting but risky too

    • Not all results published in mid August….IB, BTEC etc in July

    • Find Clearing vacancy information

      • UCAS, University Websites, Telegraph

    • Speedy (not rushed) but rational decisions….and don’t be in Ibiza

    Last minute changes and no shows

    Last minute changes and no shows

    • Some Universities plan/allow for this in their target numbers but now harder due to funding/date change, especially for non-AAB candidates

    • Frustrating – your students may be missing out on a place held open by someone else

    • Just as common for popular courses as for clearing entry/recruiting courses

    • Essential to let a Firm Choice University know asap

    • Around 3 students in every 100 UK wide

    • Encourage good advice and communication

    • Encourage students to come in to school/college on results day to see you.

    Realistic but positive

    Realistic but positive….

    • Vast majority get 4 or more offers (80% plus)

    • Applications per place often quoted – don’t forget students are making 4 other applications.

    • The debate dominated by a few thousand applications for a small number of highly selective courses - less than 2% of total.

    • Check entry requirements and specific requirements (eg A/AS/BTEC/GCSE/IB etc)

    • eg: Aston: 2011 entry: 12,000 UK/EU applications for 2,000 places: c80% of applicants received conditional offers. Average Grade on entry: AAB-ABB from best 3 A levels (390+ UCAS Points)

    Quality it s not just the usual suspects graduate level jobs 2010 graduates

    Quality: It’s not just the “usual suspects”….. “Graduate Level” Jobs: 2010 Graduates

    1. Imperial College London 95.7%

    2. London School of Economics 95.6%

    3. King’s College London 88.8%

    4. University College London87.8%

    5. Aston University87.7%

    6. Cambridge University 86.6%

    7. Bath University 85.4%

    8. Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen84.9%

    9. Warwick University84.4%

    10. City University 84.0%

    11. Bristol University83.3%

    UK average c70%. Aston above 20 of the 24 Russell Group Universities

    Source: HESA, Sunday Times University Guide – September 2011. Employed Graduates in “Graduate Level” employment

    Thanks for listening and keep in touch

    Thanks for listening and keep in touch

    • Any questions or comments?

      [email protected]

      [email protected]

      Aston University Services for Schools and Colleges:

      Open Days at King’s :

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