2021 application cycle update

A message from our Vice-Chancellor for schools and colleges

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to write and confirm that applications for 2021 entry at York have opened.  I know that schools and colleges have been placed under enormous pressure as a result of the pandemic and that you are all working incredibly hard to enable your students to catch up on their studies and offer them the very best possible educational experiences.

As you can imagine, the way in which students can make their decisions about which universities to apply to has also changed dramatically.  The traditional way of making those decisions by coming on visits to university campuses has had to be curtailed and this will I am sure add to the uncertainty that students may be experiencing. At the University of York we want to counter that by offering a range of exciting new digital resources and virtual events for you and your students throughout the cycle.  And the recruitment and outreach teams will keep you up to date regularly, as each event is happening, so you can plan and access the right support and guidance.

Reassurance regarding deferrals

We also know that some students have a particular concern that this year’s admissions turbulence means that there will be fewer university places available for them.  I want to reassure you that this is absolutely not the case.  Although some University of York applicants deferred their place to 2021, the numbers who chose to do this were very small, and in line with previous years.  As a result, there will be no impact on the number of places available at York for 2021 entrants  Now more than ever, we need bright minds entering higher education and as such I look forward to welcoming applications from your students.

Applications will be assessed this year as they are every year, by looking at the whole application.  We look at qualifications of course, but most of all we look for the potential for students to succeed and thrive at York, as well as their suitability for, and enthusiasm and interest in, the courses applicants have applied to.

A host of new, digital ways to research

Researching courses and universities before applying is still an important part of the application process. We know students are really keen to understand what the experience on campus is like and what it feels like to be at York.  Although students may not be able to visit our campus at the moment, we have developed a range of virtual and digital opportunities to get to know us:  

  • Our recruitment and outreach teams will be attending several virtual events and they will be happy to answer any questions you or your students may have
  • Students can take a digital stroll around our campus using the virtual tour
  • Student-led chats provide the opportunity to chat with and ask questions of our current university students, along with our Unibuddy online chats
  • Our Virtual Open Days on the 28th October and 11th November will be an ideal opportunity for students to talk to academic staff, support staff, admissions staff and lots of current students
  • Progression programmes supported by Next Step York and YorWay will also be virtual this year, providing lots of opportunities for your students to gain information and advice about higher education. These programmes support students from less advantaged backgrounds to realise their aspirations and potential through a tailored package of support. To find out more visit our website or contact outreach@york.ac.uk.

Work experience and personal statements

Some students may be disappointed they have not been able to get work experience before they apply, especially for our more vocational courses. While we recognise this has not been possible this year, it is all the more important that students understand what they are applying for and can demonstrate their transferable skills in their personal statement - especially skills they may have developed during the recent months.  Skills such as independent working, adaptability and time management will be so useful for their life as a student.  We have developed a presentation offering students advice and guidance about writing their Personal Statement and do please share this with your students.

Working on our digital resources

We are also improving and expanding our digital resources and support for teachers and advisers.  We’re looking forward to sharing them with you soon. And we will also be continuing to develop and expand our substantial portfolio of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that will aim to offer taster learning opportunities across a range of subjects with additional MOOCs on offer on digital citizenship, transition and preparation for university and much more to come.

Participation in virtual events

Our Outreach teams would be happy to support your students with online presentations or attend any virtual events you are organising to support information and awareness about University life.  

Finally my colleagues in our Admissions team would be very happy to help with your enquiries so do get in touch if we can help in any way with your students’ applications.

The UK is undergoing an unprecedented range of challenges and it is our responsibility to ensure that these challenges do not adversely impact on the life chances of our young people. As a University for public good, we passionately believe that every student who has the potential to benefit from a York education should be helped in every way possible to make that dream a reality. We look forward very much to helping your students find out why a university education is a transformative opportunity, and that for at least some of them York will be the right choice. But the most important thing is that they consider the benefits of getting a degree.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Charlie Jeffery

Contact us

Access and Outreach
+44 (0)1904 323529

Contact us

Access and Outreach
+44 (0)1904 323529