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Fair admissions NETT
National Expert Think Tank on fair admissions in a competitive environment
National Expert Think Tanks (NETTs) are expert groups convened by SPA to inform and influence topical national debates on fairness and good practice in higher education (HE) admissions. In 2015-16, the NETT considered how fair admissions can be maintained and enhanced in the current HE landscape, how fair admissions is understood across the sector in the UK, and what it means to individual HE providers. The aim of the NETT was to support HE providers in addressing these issues in the more competitive and resource-stretched higher education landscape.
Fair admissions is especially relevant in the current environment due to a range of internal and external changes impacting on HE admissions including: increasing complexity around the regulatory framework, HE policy, demographic changes, qualification reform, consumer protection, and the increasing competition and marketisation of higher education.
The NETT consisted of managers and practitioners from a range of HE providers in a variety of roles, reflecting the diversity of the HE sector. An initial meeting of NETT members in December 2015 agreed the following areas of investigation:
- Additional admissions assessments (e.g. tests; interviews; portfolios)
The use of additional admissions assessments and a framework for selecting (or not selecting) to use them as part of a fair admissions process
- Tracking and monitoring
How HE providers can use data to effectively link their progression, retention and outcome strategies to their admissions principles, criteria and data to ensure fair admissions
How HE providers can embody the principles of fair admissions within partnerships for the delivery of higher education
- Communication channels with applicants
How HE providers consider fair admissions in their direct communication with applicants
Members of the NETT conducted research for each of these areas, including surveys, case studies, and focus groups, in preparation for a three-day residential. During the residential, members reviewed and analysed the findings and developed resources to support HE providers to deliver, and demonstrate, fair admissions and good practice. Each of the NETT resources together with further information about the project can be downloaded below.
If you have any queries regarding the NETT project or the resources, please do not hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01242 544891.