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Willetts asks HEFCE to increase recruitment flexibility

Universities minister David Willetts has written to the Higher Education Funding Council for England about the flexibility of student recruitment limits in 2014-15, asking it to both increase flexibility for institutions that have shown strong recruitment and to treat institutions enjoying less demand "less favourably”.

Willetts said in his letter, dated 14 March, that the council should also consider expanding the list of high-grade qualifications that are exempt from student number controls. Willetts added that HEFCE should retain the threshold for unrestrained recruitment at ABB or similar in 2014-15.

Universities are given limits on how many students they can recruit each year, but the government allows them to recruit as many students with high grades at A-level, and some equivalent qualifications, as they wish. It is this list that Willetts asked HEFCE to expand in his letter, which was published by HEFCE on 19 April.

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