Great article on Wonkhe with an interview with Mary Curnock Cook, especially her analysis of the implications of the removal of student number controls.
“There is no doubt in my mind that biggest change maker over this period was the removal of number controls”, says Mary, despite fees getting most of the attention. This has also altered how admissions are reported in the press. “I call it the ‘scramble’ flip”, Mary tells me. In 2010, the headlines around results day were always “Students scramble for university!”, but now it’s “Universities scramble for recruitment!”. The unleashing of an uncapped market in England perhaps hasn’t been as much of a boon as some universities hoped. “They wanted the flexibility to grow, but the removal of the cap was not just the removal of the cap on each university, it was the removal of the cap on each of their competitors as well. It took a while for that reality to sink in”.