English Language qualification was obtained

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					    MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSION COMMITTEE
                     HELD ON TUESDAY 30 JANUARY 2007


    Present:           Mr D Robb (Chair), Dr P Baker, Dr M Barahona, Dr J Bradley,
                       Dr L Craig, Dr M Deonarain, Mrs L Green, Mr B Harris,
                       Dr S Lucyszyn, Dr E McCoy, Prof G Parry, Dr S Skinner, Ms M Thody,
                       Dr A Thomas-Betts, Ms R Ellis (Secretary)

    In attendance:     Mr M Heneghan (for Dr Bates), Mrs J Jackman, Dr G Moore,
                       Ms L Richardson, Mrs S Stone

    Apologies:         Dr J Bates, Prof D Craig, Dr E Greenhalgh, Prof J Laycock,
                       Dr O Matar, Prof R Rawlings


          Item                                                                      ACTION

    1.    Minutes of the last meeting

          The minutes of the meeting held on 7 November 2006 were approved.


    2.    Matters Arising

    2.1   Item 3.3 Report of the Working Party on the Schwartz Report

          It was noted that no decision had yet been communicated regarding
          funding of the training of new Admissions Tutors. The Chair agreed DAR
          to follow this up with the Chair of the Recruitment and Admission RR
          Policy Committee.

    2.2   Item 3.6 Cambridge Pre-University Qualification

          The Chair reported that a meeting had taken place with
          representatives of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) where
          feedback had been given on the individual subject syllabi. There had
          been broad agreement from staff who were consulted that the
          qualification would be acceptable for entry to the College and this had
          been communicated to CIE.




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    2.3   Item 4 Statistical Reports

          The Committee received a summary of the entry qualifications of the
          2006 intake. It was noted that the A level points scores continued to
          rise year on year and that, for those who entered with non-A level
          qualifications, a high proportion had taken the International
          Baccalaureate. The Secretary was asked to investigate whether the
          number of students entering with Scottish qualifications had changed       RE
          following the introduction of the new tuition fee structure.

          A small number of applicants were being accepted each year from
          access and foundation courses and it was noted that the majority had
          taken foundation courses validated by other HE institutions such as
          Warwick, UCL and, in the case of those accepted for Medicine,
          Thames Valley University.

          Jan Jackman, as part of her new role as Assistant Registrar with
          responsibility for Qualification Equivalency, was intending to begin       JJ
          work on an information listing for use by selectors which would cover
          non-standard and overseas qualifications offered for entry to
          undergraduate courses. It was agreed that it would be helpful if this
          listing could include information on individual foundation/access
          courses of which the College had experience.

          Mrs Jackman was asked to comment on the acceptability of
          qualifications from the countries which had just entered the European
          Union. Whilst Romanian school leaving qualifications would be
          acceptable, providing high scores had been obtained, there was
          concern about the level of Bulgarian school leaving qualifications. It
          was likely that they were equivalent in standard to Scottish Highers,
          which were not acceptable as stand-alone qualifications for entry to
          the College. Bulgarian students should therefore be advised to
          consider taking A level equivalent qualifications or a recognised
          foundation course before making an application to College.

    3.    Imperial Outreach
    4.    Study Support Bursaries: progress report

          The Committee received a report from the Director of Access/Head of
          Outreach, Melanie Thody, setting out the activities currently being
          undertaken by Imperial Outreach and listing the staff and their specific
          responsibilities. The Outreach booklet for 2007 was also circulated
          for information.




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         As Director of Access, Ms Thody also had responsibility for ensuring
         the effective administration of the Study Support Bursaries which were
         introduced as part of the Access Agreement in October 2006, and
         presented a progress report prepared by the Student Support Officer.

         It was noted that, whilst the take-up for the Bursaries was higher than
         expected for the lowest income band, it was much lower than
         expected for the income bands above £17.5k. Whilst the Bursaries
         have been and continue to be widely publicised, it is clear that not all
         eligible students are applying. However, it was noted that applications
         were still being received and processed for the 2006 intake.

         A number of changes for 2007 entry were outlined in the paper,
         including changes in the income bands, and the removal of the UCAS
         deadline requirement for eligibility which had been replaced with the
         requirement that the College was the applicant’s firm choice.

         An updated leaflet was currently being prepared and it was hoped that
         this would be published by the end of February.

    5.   Summary of Direct Entry students admitted from 2003 to 2006

         As part of the Committee’s brief is to monitor the progress of students
         admitted directly into Year 2 (and exceptionally Year 3), a report was
         presented showing the progress of such students admitted since
         October 2003. It was noted that there did not appear to be significant
         problems and that the majority of such students achieved good
         degrees.

    6.   Summary of students approved for entry as ‘Special Cases’ in
         2005 and 2006

         The Committee considered a monitoring report for students admitted
         as ‘special cases’. It was noted that the majority of these students
         were admitted without an acceptable English Language qualification
         and it was agreed that it would be helpful to have further detail on
         such students to illustrate the basis on which the student had been
         approved for entry. The Secretary agreed to amend and recirculate RE
         the report.

    7.   UCAS deadlines and the concept of a ‘’gathered field’.

         The Chair summarized the main areas which the Delivery Partnership
         Steering Group was discussing, and outlined the areas which may be
         contentious from the College’s viewpoint.




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         It was noted that the decision had already been taken to reduce the
         UCAS choices from 6 to 5 and that this would take effect from 2008
         entry.

         The concept of a ‘gathered field’ of applications, with all decisions
         being delayed until after the application deadline or beyond, was still
         under discussion and the College had the opportunity to have input
         via the Russell Group Admissions Group. The Committee were in
         agreement that the concept of a ‘gathered field’ would put the College
         at a distinct disadvantage if Oxford and Cambridge were permitted to
         retain the 15 October deadline and were allowed to publish their
         decisions at a much earlier stage. It was clear that such a system
         would lead to informal offers being made with all of the associated
         problems which this could cause.

         The Committee did not support any move towards the removal of
         predicted grades or towards the requirement to routinely provide
         feedback to unsuccessful candidates. In addition to the resource
         implications, standardized feedback was not generally thought to be
         helpful to candidates and individual feedback could be challenged and
         may lead to litigation. It was agreed that where sufficient information
         was published regarding selection criteria, there should be no
         necessity to give detailed feedback on decisions.

    8.   Any other business

         (a) The Committee noted the papers which had been distributed since
         the last meeting

         (b) Registry restructuring

         Lorna Richardson outlined the new Registry structure which would
         come into effect within the next month.

         The admissions function would be absorbed into three Faculty facing
         teams, each of which would provide a ‘cradle to grave’ service for their
         Faculty. Ruth Ellis, who was to take on the role of Assistant Registrar
         (Medicine), would retain the roles of UAC Secretary and UCAS
         Correspondent for the College and as such would remain as the main
         point of contact for undergraduate admissions issues which crossed
         Faculty lines.




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         Ms Richardson reported that, in addition to the Faculty facing teams, a
         Student Services team would be set up to deal with generic,
         student/applicant facing areas including enquiries, and to facilitate this
         the Registry was undergoing refurbishment to create a student ‘hub’
         which will also be used by other student-facing sections, such as
         Accommodation and the International Office.

         Concern was expressed regarding the placement of particular staff
         within the Faculty teams and the consequent loss of knowledge and
         expertise regarding individual courses and Departments which had
         been built up within Admissions Teams.

         The Chair thanked the staff in Admissions for all of their invaluable
         help over the years and asked that staff in academic Departments be
         patient and understanding during the next few months whilst Registry
         staff were being trained in new areas and the changes were being
         embedded.

         (c) Singapore Integrated Programme

         Following the College’s agreement to consider applicants undertaking
         the Singapore Integrated Programme without the normal GCSE/O
         level requirements providing an acceptable English Language
         qualification was obtained, an email had been received from the
         Ministry of Education in Singapore requesting that the English
         Language requirement be waived for these applicants.

         It was reported that Oxford and Cambridge, UCL, Kings and LSE had
         already agreed to waive the requirement and it was possible that, by
         retaining the requirement the College may lose a number of good
         applicants. However, it was generally agreed that we should be even-
         handed and should not grant a dispensation to one group of
         applicants which was not available to other applicants regardless of
         their academic background.

         It was agreed that this issue would be referred to the Recruitment and       DAR
         Admission Policy Committee.

    9.   Date of next meeting

         The next meeting of the Undergraduate Admission Committee will
         take place on Tuesday 22 May 2007 at 3.00 p.m. in Room 5, Seminar
         and Learning Centre, Sherfield Building.




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