Chaos for students left in dark over which universities will offer degree

Lack of information about which universities are offering the new
social work degree course this autumn could leave potential
students without a place.

The General Social Care Council, which regulates social work
training, says 63 universities in England have been “licensed” to
offer the new professional qualification.

But despite A-level results being due out this week and the opening
of the university clearing system, by Tuesday the GSCC website had
failed to list all the universities taking social work students
this year.

It recommends that prospective students “ring the university
concerned to find out its exact arrangements for running the new
degree”, such as the entry requirements and the course content. The
GSCC added that it “does not duplicate” the role of the
Universities and Colleges Admissions Service or the Social Work
Admission System in providing information to students about where
they can study.

Ian Johnston, director of the British Association of Social
Workers, said lack of updated information was a cause for

BASW had taken calls from people still needing information despite
having contacted the Department of Health helpline, he said.

He said there was a “continuing issue about the difficulty in
finding out how to start a social work career”, adding that both
the GSCC and the social care training body Topss ought to be able
to provide all the necessary details.

Some of those universities whose details have not been updated on
the GSCC website have been forced to drum up business themselves.
Bradford University has sent out a press release encouraging
students to apply for its social work course through clearing and
Hertfordshire University is to allow students to apply online.

Other universities that will be offering places through clearing
but whose details are out of date on the GSCC website include the
University of Lincoln, which estimates that 10 of its 72 places
will be available, and Anglia Polytechnic University, which expects
a quarter of its 160 places to be available.

Elsewhere, many social work degree courses are already full, with
one reporting more than 500 applications for its 15 places.

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