A new website – created by UCAS – which lets young people apply for courses ranging from A level Maths to an Apprenticeship in Plumbing, has received over 23,000 visitors since launching on 1 October.

UCAS Progress (www.ucasprogress.com) lets teenagers research post-16 courses close to where they live or further afield, using a selection of simple keywords. It went live as an application system at the start of the month. Between 1 and 9 October, the site received more than 23,000 visitors and 360,000 page views, with over 100 applications already submitted.

Local authorities and education providers are working closely with the UCAS Progress team to deliver content for the service. It’s free to use at home or in the classroom with the support of teachers. It can also be accessed on mobile devices.

Students can save courses that appeal to them, and share them with friends, family and teachers. With an easy step-by-step guide, young people can work on their application in stages, and track its progress once it’s submitted. Cathy Gilbert, Director of Customer Strategy at UCAS said: “While the UCAS undergraduate system manages admissions to higher education, UCAS Progress is for younger students. It’s a broad, dynamic service, with options including academic, vocational and training courses.”

Gina Bradbury, Head of UCAS Progress added: “The service has been developed in consultation with all the groups who will be using the system. That means it’s designed to meet the needs of students and the schools, colleges and academies taking them on, as well as the local authorities. “UCAS Progress has completed the transition from localised AWPs (area wide prospectuses) and CAPs (common application processes), to a unified system capable of delivering comprehensive information on learning opportunities for all young people making choices at Key Stages 4 and 5.

“While currently focusing on the benefits of using UCAS Progress for Key Stage 5 choices, we are excited about the benefits to 11-16 and 11-18 institutions of using Apply to manage internal applications at Key Stage 4.”

Search and Apply
Search is an online directory that lets young people to search for courses across the UK, where local authorities (LAs) are using the system. The localised start points ensure that searches are of high quality. Searching and map views are based on location and the distance the learner is willing to travel.

Search provides an impartial platform for students to explore all the opportunities, free from local authority borders.

Apply, the single online application system, makes managing applications more intuitive. It enables students to build profiles, return to complete applications, track their progress, and use the communication tool to speak with providers to arrange interviews.
For institutions, Apply lets teachers and advisers monitor and manage applications. Apply talks to institutions’ management information systems (MIS), facilitating data transfer. The scheme also offers flexible application forms and offer management.

Inform Complementing Search and Apply is Inform, an online information and advice resource for young people, parents/guardians and teachers. Although modest at present, Inform will be developed throughout 2013. As well as containing UCAS Progress materials, it will signpost to approved third party resources.

Take up Currently, schools, academies, colleges and work-based learning providers in 58 LAs in England – together with Swansea – are using UCAS Progress. That makes it the largest secondary education provider of course search and application services in the country.

For more information contact the UCAS Progress Support Team on 0871 468 2568 or email ucasprogress@ucas.ac.uk