Curnock Cook: college applications 'natural territory' for Ucas

Outgoing Ucas CEO Mary Curnock Cook says it would be 'quite extraordinary' not to look at the service running a central college application system

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Ucas should be given a significant role in any plans to create a central college applications system, according to outgoing chief executive Mary Curncock Cook.

The government’s industrial strategy green paper published in January called for a “course-finding process for technical education similar to the Ucas process”.

In an interview with Tes, Ms Curnock Cook, who left the organisation last week after serving as its chief executive for seven years, said this would be "natural territory" for the service, which already manages more than 3 milion undergraduate applications each year.

Ucas 'would like to be involved'

“It’s very natural territory for us and we would like to be involved in whatever the government decides to do,” she said, adding that a simple replication of Ucas for FE programmes and apprenticeships would not be adequate – not least given the necessary move awayfrom the annual cycle of university applications.

When asked whether Ucas should operate a central FE applications system, she said: “I think it would be quite extraordinary if the calls for a Ucas-style system didn’t include the possibility of it being Ucas who delivered it. But that’s not the only solution. We will support whatever decisions are made."

This is an edited version of an article in the 5 May edition of Tes. Subscribers can read the full story here. To subscribe, click here. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here. Your new-look Tes magazine is available at all good newsagents.

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