Admissions 2015

It’s Undergraduate Admissions time again – sleepless nights for admissions teams and  Pro-Vice Chancellors!

Last year we did very well, managing to exceed our ‘ABB+’ numbers target. This year we have also done extremely well.  Numbers to date for SAgE suggest that we have exceeded our ‘ABB+’ target numbers by close on 100.  As I write we are within a whisker of our ‘core’ numbers as well. This means that in effect we have raised the bar on quality, which is of course one of our strategic aims.

By any measure this is a fantastic performance, and I’d like to congratulate all the admissions teams for their hard work and determination. As I mentioned last year, exceeding our target is particularly noteworthy because demographics  work against achieving our target, which in itself was greater than last year’s. Moreover, this year the cap on student numbers was removed completely, meaning that Universities can recruit as many students as they wish, resulting in increased competition.

Many will be aware that we have introduced an honours degree in Physics, or should I say re-introduced, following its closure in the last decade. Recruitment has been very strong, again exceeding target of ‘ABB+’ students. It’s easy to say in hindsight, but I feel there is a valuable lesson here, namely that one should think long and hard about closing down a discipline that is not profitable. Universities need their fundamental disciplines, so if things go awry then closure should be a very last resort. We will now need to focus our attention on building Physics as a standalone department. We don’t have plans to return Physics in the next REF, but we certainly should seriously consider doing so in any subsequent exercise. This will require building up staff numbers, which should not be problematic given the popularity of the degree programme.


About stevehomans

Professor Steve Homans is a structural biologist with an international reputation in the study of biomolecular interactions. He obtained his first degree and DPhil in Biochemistry at Oxford University, and secured his first academic position as Lecturer at the University of Dundee. In 1998 he received the Zeneca award from the Biochemical Society and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Prior to his current appointment he was Dean of the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds. Professor Homans brings extensive expertise of academic leadership and management, with a particular emphasis on organisational change.
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