The Admissions to Higher Education Review (the Schwartz Review) supports the increased professionalisation of admissions operations within universities to ensure that prospective applicants are dealt with in the most effective fair and equitable manner by all staff involved in the admissions process. It is important that the role and responsibilities of School Admission Officers are clearly articulated to ensure that:
- Admissions Officers are fully aware of the range and scope of the responsibilities of their post.
- Heads of Departments can quantify the administrative load and make adequate arrangements to support that role.
- The selection of Admissions Officers is made in relation to a defined role and takes into consideration an individual's skills, abilities and experience.
It is recommended that this Code of Practice for Admissions Officers be adopted in support of the University's recruitment and admissions practices.
This Code sets out the roles and responsibilities of the School/department and the admissions officers in relation to admissions at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
School Admissions Officers are responsible for ensuring that the School fulfils its responsibilities to university applicants in accordance with the University's Admissions Policy. Admissions Officers are required to fulfil obligations in respect of the admissions process, recruitment and the provision of specialist subject advice in the determination of admissions protocols.
Admissions Officers are required to work in close collaboration with Enrolment Management Services (EMS) and International Development (ID) in the recruitment and admission of appropriately qualified students. EMS publish on the web clear Service Level Statements which, articulate the level of support that Admissions Officers can expect from the Office in the performance of their Admissions role. Admissions Officers should have an understanding of the UK educational system and be committed to the University's policies on admissions and widening access.
Heads of Schools are responsible for ensuring that Admissions Officers are adequately resourced to fulfil their role. They should appoint Admissions Officers who have the necessary skills, attributes and experiences to fulfil this role. They are required to ensure that Admissions Officers attend the necessary training sessions and receive adequate support. This support should include appropriate relief from teaching hours and other administrative tasks, and support from other members of staff in the fulfilment of responsibilities for open and visit days and during the clearing period.
Admissions Officers are required to fulfil responsibilities in respect of admissions, recruitment and liaison and to undergo specific development and training to fulfil these roles. It is the expectation that an Admissions Officer will be a permanent member of staff.
Admissions Officers are required:
- To act as the departmental liaison with EMS and ID in the fulfilment of the University's recruitment and admissions processes.
- To act as the departmental/subject representative on the Faculty Recruitment and Admissions Committee.
- To act as a School/departmental contact for admissions queries from a variety of sources, to include enquiries received in writing, by telephone and via the website/email relating to courses within the School/department.
- To provide, and update, on an annual basis the entry requirements for individual courses offered by the School.
- To make decisions on non-standard applications referred by EMS and ensure that candidates receive feedback on decisions when requested.
- To discuss and agree admissions targets with Heads of School as part of the planning process and to monitor number of offers being made in relation to School targets and to take appropriate action to ensure that targets are achieved.
- To co-ordinate School Clearing Activity at undergraduate level and ensure that sufficient departmental staffs are available throughout the Clearing period (from 2nd week in August until targets are met).
Development and training
- To receive annual training as deemed appropriate by EMS in relation to policy and procedures eg. UCAS procedures, the admissions systems and clearing web system.
- To have a good working knowledge of the UK education system.
- To be aware of Admissions procedures, including key UCAS deadline dates for processing applications and offers.
- To be aware of institutional policies and regulations that relate to recruitment and admissions, such as the University's Equal Opportunities Policy, Student Disability Policy and Widening Participation Policy.
Recruitment and liaison
- To ensure that the School/department has made appropriate Visit Day arrangements for applicants and that these days are adequately staffed.
- To ensure that the department has the necessary arrangements and staffing in place for University Open Days.
- To assist with School and Colleges Liaison activity to promote School programmes, such as supporting visits to the university by potential applicants, to visit schools, attend parents' evenings, involvement in taster programmes, summer schools and sixth form conferences as appropriate.
- To ensure that entry requirements are made available for publication deadlines, for the prospectus and UCAS directory and other publications.
Qualities/Attributes required for the role:
- To be committed to, and have an understanding of, the value of HE and the Kent experience.
- To have the ability to communicate effectively and sympathetically with parents and students.
- To have energy and enthusiasm for the relevant subject area.
- To possesses excellent administrative and organisational skills.
- To be able to act with tact and diplomacy.