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Applications delayed by a new computer system

Nottingham has fallen prey to a national problem whereby thousands of UCAS applications for 2006 entry were delayed thanks to glitches in a new computer system. Details of students who fail to get the grades demanded by first-choice universities are supposed to be forwarded to their second-choice institutions the same day. Head of Admissions at Nottingham, Caryl Thompson, said this had not happened, affecting at least 47 applicants who had listed Nottingham as one of their choices.

Ms Thompson said: “The number for us is quite small, as we are mostly a first-choice destination, but it suggests thousands of students nationally are being affected.” The problems with the changes have created a lot of extra work for students and admissions staff. “We have got 5,500 students coming here in the autumn and they have to get on with sorting out registration, accommodation and other issues, and this does not help.”

However, UCAS believes the problems were “minor”, and are not evidence of major flaws in the system. A spokesman said: “Most students won’t have been aware of a problem. It may have caused slight delays with arranging accommodation, but universities do not normally send these details out straight away.”

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