Fair Admissions at the University of Manchester

The University’s commitment to widening participation includes our fair admissions policies and procedures that ensure our student recruitment, selection and admissions are transparent, fair and provide us with opportunities to identify outstanding students from all educational backgrounds.

Impact evidence

Weekly report on admissions statistics contextually flags students, allowing us to track and monitor data throughout the admissions cycle.

In the 2018/19 admissions cycle, 14,362 undergraduate applications were contextually flagged for consideration with 3,398 differential offers made to WP Plus applicants.

Our contextual data processes have increased the proportions of widening students being considered for the most selective courses, including Medicine and Dentistry.

This includes our use of contextual data in the admissions process and differential offer making. Our approach to contextual data is evidence led, based on research by the Fair Education Alliance.

Currently the University uses four pieces of contextual data: home postcode, experience of local authority care and school and college performance in comparison to the national average.

We use contextual data when considering applications from UK students aged under 21.  Contextual data allows admissions staff to build up a full and rounded view of an applicant’s potential when considering their application and aims to shine a light on applicants who have achieved particularly highly in the context of their personal and educational background. Since September 2019, the University has used contextual data to highlight students who could be made a differential offer, usually one grade lower than the standard offer.  

Find out more about how we use contextual data in our admissions process.