Universities ‘pressure-selling’ place offers to school-leavers

Universities in England making “indiscriminate” unconditional offers to potential students may fall foul of consumer legislation against “pressure selling”, the sector’s regulator warned as it launched a consultation on admissions.

The Office for Students (OfS) said it was particularly concerned at the growth of so-called “conditional unconditional offers” in recent years, which see universities giving students guaranteed places only if they name that university as their first choice.

“So-called pressure selling tactics – for example, applying psychological pressure, or creating an impression of urgency in decision making – could be a potential breach of consumer protection law,” the OfS said in a report into the effects of separating offers from A-level grades. Read more.