Student number controls

The measures to protect students and universities during the coronavirus outbreak, including temporary student number controls and additional places.

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The government and Ofqual have confirmed that students in England will now receive centre assessment grades for A and AS level results.

This was deemed to be the fairest approach to avoid some students receiving grades that did not reflect their prior performance. Any students who received a calculated grade higher than their centre assessment grade will still receive the higher.

To ensure students can progress to higher education, the government intends to remove the temporary student number controls (SNCs) which had been introduced for the coming academic year 2020/21.

Temporary SNCs that were previously notified to providers will no longer apply.

We have published further information about the decision to move to centre assessed grades.

Applies to England



An outline of the plans, announced on 4 May 2020, to allow higher education providers in England to recruit full-time undergraduate students up to a temporary level.

Applications closed at 5pm 17 July 2020. The Department for Education will notify providers about their applications for the additional 10,000 places before 31 July 2020.

Published 1 June 2020
Last updated 12 August 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated the list of exemptions which will not count towards the SNC level in the introduction of temporary student number controls in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) document.

  2. Updated advice for mergers and franchising arrangements.

  3. Removed application information from 'details' section. Added date by which providers will be notified of their application outcome.

  4. Updated details on how to apply for places - applications for nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare have been extended until 17 July 2020 and applications for initial teacher training (ITT) and courses of strategic importance have now closed.

  5. Added Student number controls: further guidance.

  6. Updated Annex B and DHSC list of courses in sections 33 and 45 of the document. Updated page with details on how to apply for the additional 10,000 places.

  7. First published.