(Photo taken from The Telegraph website http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10694085/UCAS-makes-millions-from-selling-access-to-details-of-students-and-parents.html)
I recently discovered this article from the Telegraph Newspaper (2014) which has made me debate the system of UCAS.
UCAS (‘Universities and Colleges Admissions Service’) is an application process for those wanting to go to university. This service is now restricted to online applications only as the paper application system was scrapped a few years ago. According to their website “UCAS processes over 2.5 million applications every year, for some 650,000 prospective students across the UK and beyond: helping them gain access to more than 340 UK universities and colleges”. However, since this is the main route to secure a place at university, does the online only system create a significant disadvantage? First of all, those without home access to computers or the internet are at a disadvantage as it is more difficult to complete the long and tedious application without an easily accessible location for the internet. Moreover, is it exploiting students? UCAS acknowledges that it is the only way to apply to university and therefore it can sell off the potential candidates personal information to companies who will harass them will promotional material without the threat of students applying through another system.
On the other hand, the online process layout if simplistic and effective and this makes it easier for students to fill out their applications. Additionally, it is quicker to complete the application online than it is on paper. It will also allow less mistakes as it is hard to make corrections on paper applications compared to online applications where you can delete the information or mistakes. Furthermore, UCAS could argue that the information they are selling are to companies are ones that will be beneficial to student life by supplying details on deals and offers. What are your opinions? Do we rely too much on internet applications and is it fair of UCAS to sell of personal information?