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Degree Apprenticeships Admissions Statement

A. Preamble

1. This document summarises the University’s Degree Apprenticeship admissions policy. It is intended to provide an accessible summary for employers, applicants and their advisors. Where more detailed information is publicly available, this is highlighted below.

2. The statement is the joint responsibility of the Academic Quality and Standards committee and the Student Recruitment Steering Group.

3. Admissions procedures take account of sectoral best practice including the precepts of the QAA’s Quality Code for Higher Education, Part B: Assuring and Enhancing Academic Quality, Chapter B2: -Recruitment, Selection and Admission to Higher Education and Chapter B10: - Managing Higher Education Provision with Others; and the Education and Skills Funding Agency - Apprenticeship funding and performance-management rules for training providers.

B. Statement

1. The University aims to admit students of the highest calibre, who have the academic potential and motivation to succeed on its challenging courses.

2. The University will provide accurate information and advice to prospective students concerning its opportunities for Degree Apprenticeships.

3. The University welcomes applications from all candidates with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background. The University is committed to equality of opportunity, as stated in our Equal Opportunities Policy. The University aims to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, political beliefs, religious beliefs or practices, disability, marital status, family circumstances, sexual orientation, spent criminal convictions, age or any other inappropriate ground.

4. The University complies with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation The University will share information about the progression of an application with an applicant’s intended employer as an Apprentice, and with the relevant funding agencies. The University will not disclose to any other third party any details regarding an individual’s application without the applicant’s permission to do so. This policy of non-disclosure will include family members of the applicant.

C. Admissions Criteria and Selection

1. Absolute minimum entry requirements are developed by the Institute for Apprenticeships (working with trailblazer employer groups at subject level) published at www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/ as “standards”.

2. The University and the Employers it delivers Degree Apprenticeships with may also set additional entry requirement thresholds above the standards published by HEFCE. These criteria must be approved by the University Student Recruitment Steering Group and Degree Apprenticeships Steering Group, and will be published on our Study webpages.

3. Cohort Requirements

The Education and Skills Funding Agency sets legal requirements for qualification as an apprentice. These include that an apprentice must:

a) Be employed as defined by HMRC;
b) Be 16, or over, by the July before they start the apprenticeship;
c) Be in a position to complete the apprenticeship within the time they have available;
d) Not be enrolled on any other apprenticeship or other Department for Education funded Further or Higher Education programme at the same time they start the apprenticeship;
e) Not use a student loan to pay for the apprenticeship;
f) Spend at least 50% of their working hours in England over the duration of the apprenticeship;
g) Have the right to work in England;
Be one of the a citizen of a country from the EEA; or have the right of abode in the UK, and have been resident in the EEA for at least the previous three years on the first day of the apprenticeship; or a non-EEA citizen with permission from UK government to live in the UK (NOT for educational purposes) and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the previous three years before the start of the apprenticeship.

Full eligibility requirements are published in the Education and Skills Funding Agency - Apprenticeship funding and performance-management rules for training providers P54 to P56.

4. Vocational Requirements

Individual employers may have specific requirements to take up employment with them as an apprentice. These may be different or in addition to those published in the apprenticeship standards or the entry requirements set by the University. For example an employer may require an apprentice to have worked for the company for a minimum amount of time, or to have previous experience in a specific role. Any requirements such as this will be communicated to applicants through the employers’ materials advertising apprenticeship opportunities, such as the advertised job description or person specification.

5. Academic Requirements

a) Applicants should provide evidence of attainment of the academic criteria outlined in the relevant published standard, or on the Study pages where this is higher, before employment and enrolment commence. Applicants must meet the minimum entry requirements for their chosen Degree Apprenticeship as set out in the relevant apprenticeship standard or the University’s entry requirements, whichever is the highest. Applicants who don’t meet this criteria must undertake assessment through a needs assessment tool; such applicants will be admitted only if the assessment demonstrates that they have sufficient skills necessary to successfully engage with and complete the course.
b) Academic assessment is undertaken by course selectors (Admissions Tutors) who are normally academics in departments and by professionals in the Student Recruitment Outreach and Admissions Service, to ensure that decisions are made fairly.

6. Applicants are considered by Employers first. Applicants who are successful in the Employers’ selection processes will be recommended to the University who will then verify the application and any supporting materials, and will notify the applicant of its formal decision. This formal decision will be communicated to the applicant by the employer and the Student Recruitment, Outreach and Admissions Office.

7. All eligible applicants will also be assessed through employer selection processes, the needs analysis tool and University academic background checks to determine whether any exemptions must be applied. In line with Education and Skills Funding Agency eligibility and funding criteria, where it is identified that a successful applicant already has prior learning which maps to the teaching and learning outcomes of the apprenticeship, this will be noted and where necessary the content and cost of the course offered may be reduced to reflect this.

8. In the case of candidates being made an offer, this offer will include any conditions which need to be met in advance of the course starting and the start and expected end dates of the course. In order to take up an offer applicants must have a live job offer from their employer, and an employment contract long enough for the applicant to successfully complete their apprenticeship. The University’s offer is not a guarantee of funding and is subject to applicants’ employment. Applicants will be instructed of the procedure for accepting or declining such offers. Applicants accepting their offer will have the full offer Terms and Conditions brought to their notice in advance of being asked to make this decision.

9. Applicants who do not meet the conditions of their offer before the course (including employment, academic and relevant Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies’ requirements) commences shall be considered, in the first instance, by the academic department to which they have applied, and the Student Recruitment, Outreach and Admissions Office, who may decide to either accept the applicant onto the course or escalate the decision. In the case of escalation, final decisions will be made by the Director, Student Recruitment, Outreach and Admissions Service, or the Provost following joint consideration by the academic department; Degree Apprenticeships Team; Director, SROAS; and the Provost.

10. Admission decisions are regulated by the Provost, Chair of the Student Recruitment Steering Group. The second schedule of the Statutes of the University allows for the Vice-Chancellor, with the concurrence of the Senate, to refuse to admit any person to the University without assigning a reason.

11. Students with a disability, specific learning difference or developmental condition are encouraged to apply to the University and are considered on the same academic grounds as all other candidates. In a parallel process, candidates with specific learning differences, motor, sensory and ‘unseen disabilities’, mental health difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, or any disabling illness may be contacted by the University’s Disability Services (Student Support Services) to discuss their requirements prior to entry, in order to ensure that reasonable adjustments can be made. Where it is not considered reasonable to adjust the decision is referred to the Committee on the Admission of Students to Courses of Study (see C13 below). Applicants should also discuss reasonable adjustments with their employers. Degree Apprentices are not eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowance; where financial support may be required they should discuss possible eligibility for an Access to Work Grant with their employers.

12. The University welcomes applications from individuals who are returning to study and each applicant will be considered on their individual merits against the entrance criteria for the particular course.

13. Individual employers reserve the right to determine whether an applicant can be considered for deferred entry.

14. University regulation 6.3 (3)(b) provides for the consideration of information of a non‐academic nature that may affect an admissions decision. Where information, which may include the declaration of a relevant unspent criminal conviction, activities outside of the law, fraudulent information or misrepresentation or -, in the case of relevant course applications, any issue that may represent an issue of fitness to practise - comes to light, employers are responsible for leading the consideration of such information and determining whether it should affect an admissions decision. The University will be included in the process of consideration and will pass on relevant information to employers either as part of, or to activate, such consideration.

15. The University reserves the right to withdraw any offer made on the basis of an application containing fraudulent, incomplete or misleading information.

16. Applicants in receipt of an offer based on attainment in Level 3 qualifications may be made an alternative offer with reduced requirements if the University considers that there are contextual factors which should be taken into account, provided the standards are still met. Contextual factors may include attendance at a school with lower than average GCSE results, living in an area of low progression to higher education or having been in care.

D. Applicants Requiring a Visa

The University cannot sponsor any applicants requiring a Visa for study. Students requiring Tier 4 sponsorship are not eligible for Degree Apprenticeships and those requiring Tier 2 sponsorship must be sponsored by their employer.

E. Requesting feedback on an unsuccessful application

1. Where applicants are successful in the Employer selection process but do not receive an offer from the University, the University will provide feedback to candidates and their (potential) Employer when this is requested by the candidate in writing either to the Student Recruitment Outreach and Admissions Service or to the relevant academic department.

2. The Student Recruitment Outreach and Admissions Service or academic department will respond to requests for feedback in a timely manner, although timescales may be longer at pressurised points in the admissions cycle.

3. Feedback will normally include generic information to help applicants understand the means by which applicants are selected for the course to which they have applied, but a certain amount of specific information on an individual’s application may be available on request.

4. Feedback will not be provided to any third party including, but not limited to, a parent, agent or other supporter. Feedback will be provided on request to potential employers (see B4 above).

5. The University will not provide feedback to applicants who are unsuccessful in the Employer Selection process.

F. Complaints

1. Complaints from applicants regarding the service they receive during the admissions process will be handled in accordance with the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office Complaints Procedure.

2. Applicants do not have the right to appeal against the academic judgement made on their application.

G. Monitoring

Under Statute 20(2) the Senate regulates the admission of persons to courses of study and the monitoring and reporting of admissions is via Senate committees, including the Steering Committee and the Academic Quality and Standards Committee (and its sub‐committees). An annual report is also presented to the Equality and Diversity Committee, a joint committee of the Senate and Council. Detailed admissions information is published and publicly available in the University’s Academic Statistics.