Bringing Web 2.0 to University Admissions – UCAS 2.0

With everyone’s mind firmly on the new term and University and College admissions, @universityboy has just published an interesting article about the challenges facing students with great grades that are failing to secure places on their desired courses.  This is clearly a big problem for Universities and the admissions service, UCAS.

Against that background, my thoughts turn to e-Democracy, Social Media and Web 2.0 – as they often do with very little prompting! I’m reminded of the thrill that I felt when I first  recognised the real potential and power of the so-called Web 2.0 champions, like e-Bay. The buyes and sellers rated each other – online identity became valuable for the first time and the community was able to police itself. This seemed incredible.

How could we apply those same forces to university and college admissions? To make the process fairer and more transparent. On the one hand you have service providers offering various products aimed at different budgets (academic aptitude, say), and you have a population of potential consumers greater than the available product (higher education).

Technologies exist that make the old application process seem somewhat arbitrary and unfair to unfortunate students who fail to get into the course of their choice as Martin talks about in his blog.

Obviously as outsiders to the system we can make only superficial observations, but it seems that currently there is neither the information available to students, nor the mechnisms to let the system work efficiently. I say it’s time for a revolution!

Could the universities bid for the brightest students on their courses? How would the bidding system work? What would the currency be? Could students be presented with a list of courses from across the country that they would be accepted on?

With David Willett’s Iron Triangle fresh in my mind, I prefer to think of opportunities!

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