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Heads of Department Update 14 August


I have been trying to avoid sending this out on Fridays but I’m afraid that it’s not been possible this week – sorry. However, I don’t think there is anything here that requires an action (other than having a look at some open day feedback and letting people know about the shadowing scheme and neither is urgent). So hopefully this won’t be too intrusive for a Friday afternoon).

Confirmation and Clearing

At the end of yesterday, and despite the incredibly difficult circumstances, the outcome of confirmation and clearing was looking positive. We will be looking to secure acceptances in the right volume such that once we allow for sensible attrition rates, our enrolments with be as close as possible to our SNC figure for HEU and as close to target as possible for International. As a reminder we are aspiring to enrol around 5,500 new UG overall with around 4,400+ being HEU and over 1,000 being international. Our planning assumptions are that we enrol all of our Home undergraduates but only 50% of EU and International (which means about 4,400 new FT UG in total).

The Clearing hot line was relatively quiet – as we had expected - and a lot of calls were focused on general queries following yesterday’s news about appeals; nevertheless, some 450 offers were made and thus far we have had about 150 acceptances. Anecdotally many other research intensive institutions were reporting relatively quiet hotlines and most seem to have been looking to take a larger number of their own near misses. Interestingly, we have also received a larger number of CI accepts compared to previous years. We will be running virtual events and tours for those who have received offers through clearing.

As you might anticipate, there is quite a bit of variability across departments; a small number of departments have experienced significant overshoots (which have been very helpful overall); there will be a number who remain below target despite their best efforts. Our WP numbers are looking good and we have consciously tried to be more flexible with WP students because we expected them to be badly affected by the Ofqual algorithms.

The key consideration for us as we go into next year, is around attrition rates and compared to previous years it will be much more difficult to determine what proportion of students who accept their place will actually enrol and what proportion will arrive on campus. There is much greater certainly with home students than is the case for EU and International. As things stand, we know that accommodation bookings are behind where they were at a similar point last year (but that’s perhaps not surprising given current uncertainties); it’s possible that home applications are lower because more students may consider the commuting option. International bookings are significantly down but that could change and the greater flexibility around arrival time may help to ensure that we get significant enrolments from those who will start remotely and not need accommodation in the first term. The number of CAS’s issued and used is also down but again it’s probably too early to draw many conclusions from this.

Overall, the process has gone well and I think we have ground for some cautious optimism on UG numbers. I’ll shar more on PGT in the coming weeks as that’s where the uncertainty may be much greater.

Late Arriving Students (International/EU)

As a follow-up to my message on Tuesday this is the latest on late arriving international (inc EU) students:

  • Latest Start Date for all courses unless specified otherwise is now 11 January 2021
  • CAS amendment work now underway and is manageable
  • Comms working on messaging to OS and EU offer-holders, strongly emphasising need to enrol as soon as practicable, that they should not hold off until 11 January, and come and join our happy community as soon as practicable
  • Clearing Team scripts re-written
  • Students to inform their departments directly of their intentions – our enrolment and immigration teams will run further chasing up checks as usual as the weeks progress to ensure nobody falls between the gaps but it really it is the departments that need to know first (and can answer questions on online content, start forming online communities etc)
  • We are sorting out deployment of the Economics Late Arrival form to those who want to use it (Thanks to Economics for being happy to share what they’ve developed)

Central Information Updates

There will be a weekly series of updates for HoDs from the Business Continuity and Recovery Programme (this will include HR updates). Some of this is likely to cover things that I would have shared with you. I don’t want to duplicate anything, so you can expect these updates to become a bit less frequent as I will only send them out when there is something to add above and beyond the messages that you are already receiving.

Virtual Open Days

There will be some Dept-specific feedback coming your way shortly, but for now, the attached is an overview of the feedback that we received following the Virtual Open Day event in July.

How Warwick Works – Shadowing and Development Scheme for Academics

The “How Warwick Works” scheme will run again in the 20/21 year. Could you draw the following to the attention of anyone you think might be interested?

The scheme aims to support the leadership development of research and teaching and research focused and teaching focused colleagues currently at Professor, Reader or Associate Professor levels. This year, in particular, will provide participants with a rare insight in how the University operates in times of disruption; strategically as well as through the use of virtual leadership. The scheme will open for applications later in the year, however you can register your interest now.

Further details can be found here

Have a great weekend everyone!



Professor Christine Ennew OBE