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Deadline day

Submissions to the 2014 REF must be completed by today, writes Alison Goddard.

Today is the deadline for submissions to the 2014 REF exercise that not only establishes bragging rights to various academics across the whole of the UK but is also used to inform both university league tables and the distribution of almost £2 billion each year. Most universities have already sent their submissions to the funding councils for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The exercise is one of the most intensive administrative tasks undertaken by university staff but, despite the gripes, is generally accepted as being the best way yet identified to conduct the work. The results are due to be published in December 2014.

The Daily Telegraph reports that (£) applications for a full-time university place made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service are down compared to this time last year. The data are consistent with a trend towards applicants taking longer to make decisions and applying ever closer to the deadline of 15 January. The Universities and College Admissions Service has a graph which shows the strong demand from international students. The Daily Telegraph also reports comments made by Mary Curnock Cook, head of the admissions service, in which she highlights (£) the gulf between school pupils who take subjects that are widely respected and those who do not. The Independent says Ms Curnock Cook is concerned that school exam reforms may further disadvantage pupils from groups that are under-represented at university.

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