An investigation has been launched after an awarding body missed the deadline for submitting Access to HE Diploma grades, resulting in 1,600 students experiencing a delay in finding out whether they have gained a university place.
The Skills and Education Group (SEG) has apologised for the “frustration and added anxiety” the blunder has caused, which has been blamed on a “file issue”. It hopes to resolve the issue within the next 24 hours.
The deadline for submitting Access to HE Diploma results to UCAS was Monday (July 25), and the deadline for the universities admissions body’s processing was yesterday (July 28).
Students were expecting to have their university place confirmed today, but those certificated by SEG will now experience a delay.
An inquiry has now been launched the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education, the regulator for the qualification.
In a letter to centres that deliver SEG’s Access to HE Diplomas, SEG said: “We are writing to notify you of a file issue affecting the ‘Main Results’ upload to UCAS. This issue has resulted in the ‘Main Results’ file not being processed in time, meaning learners studying our Access to HE Diplomas results will not have been confirmed to higher education institutes.
“Our team have been working hard with QAA and UCAS to rectify the issue, and this will be resolved within the next 24 hours. We would like to assure you and your learners; that specific offers made to students by universities and other institutes will stand, however there will be a delay in confirming these places.
“We understand the frustration that this may cause, and the added anxiety that this will bring to your learners, and we apologise for any inconvenience that this causes.”
QAA’s inquiry may result in regulatory action being taken, which could be as severe as removal of SEG’s licence to deliver Access to HE Diplomas.
QAA said: “We have been notified that results data files for some Access to HE Diplomas, awarded by Skills and Education Group, did not meet the deadline for results to be processed by UCAS.
“These results could not be included in the initial results transfer to higher education receiving institutions, and these students will experience a delay in finding out whether they have gained a place.”
The statement continued: “QAA deems this a serious incident, noting the potential adverse effect to students. We have therefore initiated an immediate inquiry. We will work with all parties concerned to ensure that students’ results from Skills and Education Group Access are provided to higher education receiving institutions as quickly as possible.”
Students or providers affected have been told to contact QAA officers by email on firstname.lastname@example.org if they have concerns about their individual situation. They can also contact SEG via email@example.com.
SEG is one of 11 Access Validating Agencies (AVAs) who are licensed by QAA.
UCAS confirmed to QAA that results for students from all other AVAs were successfully transferred to universities yesterday.