2020-2021

Applicable from: 12/09/2020

Objective

  • Admissions procedures conform to the guiding principles relating to admissions and recruitment.
  • Policies and procedures for application, selection and admission to higher education courses are transparent and accessible.
  • Education providers use fair, reliable and appropriate assessment methods that enable them to select students with the potential to complete the course successfully.
  • Education providers reduce or remove unnecessary barriers for prospective students.
  • Information provided to prospective students for recruitment supports students in making informed decisions.
  • All staff, representatives and partners engaged in the delivery of admissions and recruitment.
  • Providers continually develop widening access strategies and policies in line with national and international guidance.

 

Policy Aims

  • Pearlbay Institute is committed to admitting prospective students who are most likely to benefit from our courses and aims to:
  • Sustain high academic standards consistent with the requirements of the institute’s validating body.
  • Commit to equality of opportunity. There will be no discrimination against prospective.
  • students on the grounds of any of the protected characteristics.
  • Create a working culture that respects, welcomes and harnesses differences for the benefit of the organisation and the individual.

 

Achieve these aims by:

  • Encouraging applications from all those with the talent, academic ability, and motivation to succeed at Pearlbay Institute.
  • Assessing each application individually and equitably.
  • Offering places to those who meet or have the potential to meet the course entry criteria and who therefore have the potential to complete their course successfully.
  • Maintaining integrity and transparency in its admission process.
  • Striving to create a working environment in which students are enabled to develop and progress to their full potential.

The institute recognises that it may need to be flexible during the recruitment process in order to provide fair and equal access to all prospective students, as well as recognises the need to make adjustments for individual prospective students where appropriate – for example, prospective students with a long term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty – to allow them to demonstrate their potential.

 

Procedure

  • All communication regarding applications will be conducted directly with the prospective student and not a third party, including relatives, unless the applicants are considered minor (Less than 18 years old)
  • When receives a large volume of applications which exceeds the number of places available prospective students will be offered alternative starting dates.
  • The institute has a target for offers and a target for registrations. The offer target is higher than the registration target as it must be assumed that some offer-holders will fail to meet the conditions of their offer and that a number will choose to accept offers at other institutions.
  • The institute’s prospectuses and website www.pearlbayinstitute.com provide information on entry requirements and admissions procedures.
  • Notwithstanding the published entry criteria, the institute has the discretion to vary the standard offer where a particular prospective student’s profile merits this: it may be appropriate to judge talent and potential to succeed in ways other than by academic achievement, for example performance at interview or prior practical experience or achievement.
  • The decision to make a prospective student a non-standard offer will be authorised by the Head of School for courses.
  • This is exceptional practice and is not a means to circumvent the published admissions tariffs, rather to ensure that we do not turn away prospective students with the potential to succeed who have demonstrated this strongly in other ways than by being able to meet the standard entry requirement. The ability to cope with both the academic and musical aspects of the programme will be evaluated when considering making an exceptional prospective student a non-standard offer.
  • If a prospective student wishes to discuss re-applying or re-admission e.g. following withdrawal, in the first instance they should contact the Admissions Team.
  • All students who apply for courses are obligated to submit an interview/Personal Statement.
  • Under the terms of the institute we do not charge admission fees for any of our courses plus we refund the cost if withdraw within 2 weeks of admission subject to deduction of any participation fee, where student has attended for taught or practical sessions.
  • Scholarships published on the institute’s website are offered to prospective students from the lowest income families (on submission of appropriate evidence)
  • All scholarship awards will be informed in writing.
  • All prospective students are informed about interviews for scholarships and it is advertised on our website and in open day materials and other marketing materials.
  • If the institute has any reason to believe that a prospective student or referee has left out any information, given false or misleading information, or supplied a personal statement that the prospective student has not written themselves, the institute may take any necessary steps to check whether it is accurate or complete and has the right to cancel the prospective student’s application.
  • Whilst minor amendments to programmes of study are highly likely year on year, major changes are less likely to be implemented during students’ studies.
  • Where major changes are to be introduced, the existing programme will usually be taught out in its original form and the new programme phased in.
  • If changes are made to a programme following the offer of a place on that programme, prospective students will be informed at the earliest opportunity of the changes,
  • The institute will take all reasonable and necessary steps to support prospective students and ensure that they are advised of proposed amendments and arrangements and/or alternative options available
  • Reasons for rejection of prospective students will be recorded and kept for the period of the application cycle in which the application was received. Anonymised data may be kept for a longer period for statistical analysis.
  • Admissions statistical data on all applications received, success/rejection etc. will be collected, analysed and reported annually to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory committee. This will allow monitoring of our widening participation initiatives.
  • Admissions staff ensure they are up-to-date regarding changes to application processes through engaging with communications, sessions, conferences and in-house training.

For further clarification on any aspect of this policy, please contact the Head of Academic.

 

Admissions process

  • Applications are normally made through the online or in person at the institute. Information available on www.pearlbayinstitute.com
  • All applications received by the published institute deadlines will be given equal consideration.
  • All applications will undergo preliminary screening by the Admissions and Registration Team, focusing primarily on identifying and requesting missing information.
  • Applications are assessed in a variety of ways, as appropriate to the pathway/course. For example a decision may be made on just the application form, or a prospective student may be invited for interview, or to submit a portfolio or recordings.
  • If a prospective student wishes to inform us confidentially of key issues that are not outlined in their application, they may contact the administration team via admin@pearlbay.edu.lk or by making an appointment in person.
  • The Head of School for courses is the final arbiter in any unresolved application and may vary the conditions of individual offers if he/she considers it appropriate to do so.
  • Prospective students who do not comply with standard registration process will have their application withdrawn.
  • All decisions made by the institute will be confirmed in writing.
  • If a conditional offer made to student, further supporting documents/portfolios will be requested to evaluate the application, and unconditional offer only made when all entry requirements are satisfied.
  • Where the delivery of a course/programme is uncertain because it is subject to final approval, this will be made clear in publicity materials. Every effort will be made to identify a suitable alternative in the event the course/programme is subsequently not approved.
  • Where the delivery of a course/programme is uncertain because of low prospective student numbers, this will be communicated to prospective students at the earliest stage and every effort will be made to identify a suitable alternative in the event the course/programme is subsequently cancelled.
  • By accepting an offer, the prospective student agrees to abide by the rules and regulations of the institute and its validating body, as outlined in the Terms and Conditions for Prospective students and Students.
  • An offer made and accepted cannot be withdrawn without the prospective student’s consent, except in the case of the cancellation of the course or where relevant information supplied by the prospective student is found to be incorrect or false.
  • Successful prospective students are notified of their statutory right to cancel in their offer letter: if they firmly accept the institute’s offer of a place, they have 14 days from the date on which they accept the place in which they can change their mind and withdraw their acceptance without providing a reason.

Entry requirements

  • The Academic Panel sets the minimum entry level for programmes of study at the institute, taking into consideration requirements of the validating body, and this is reviewed regularly.
  • Details of the standard specific entry requirements for each course will be contained in all available course material.
  • The institute defines its admission requirements in terms of academic achievement.
  • It is unlikely that prospective students will have achieved the entry requirements before reaching the age of 18 on entry, however circumstances may arise from time to time where a prospective student would be under 18 on entry to the institute and in these situations advice will be sought from the Head of Student Services to ensure that safeguarding obligations are met.
  • Details of the standard specific entry requirements for each course will be contained in all available course material

International entry requirements

  • International prospective students will be made an offer at an equivalent level to local prospective students.

Deferred entry

  • Deferred entry may be permitted in some circumstances / for some courses.
  • Prospective students who wish to discuss this are advised to contact the Admissions and Registration team prior to application.
  • The relevant Programme Leader and the Head of institute will make the final decision on whether to permit an application for deferred entry.

Prospective students with a criminal conviction

  • Pearlbay Institute believes that a criminal conviction should not automatically prevent an individual from studying with us. Disclosing a criminal conviction is not a requirement of an application to study at the institute and prospective students will only ever be assessed on their application, audition/interview and suitability for the course. However, Pearlbay expects students to be their best of conduct during time at the institute and beyond.
  • The exception to this applies to prospective students who would require a visa to study in Sri Lanka as they are required to disclose this information as part of the visa application process.
  • We have support groups to help students get through their difficulties they face during their studies, please contact administration or your personal tutor for further advice.
  • Prospective students with a long term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty Pearlbay Institute is committed to complying with disability and discrimination legislation.
  • Prospective students who declare a long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty will be considered according to the same principles, and will be required to meet the same criteria for entry, as other prospective students.
  • The institute recognises that, in order to provide fair and equal access to all prospective students, it may need to be flexible and, where appropriate, make adjustments for individual prospective students. Should a prospective student have particular support needs during the audition/interview process, they are encouraged to contact the Admission advisor to discuss any reasonable adjustments that can be made.
  • After an offer is made, a dedicated adviser will contact successful prospective students individually to assess the level of support that may be required throughout the course.

International Prospective students

  • International prospective students who are unable to attend an audition and/or interview are required to attend online interview and may be asked to send material in support of their application.
  • Prospective students are also required to submit evidence in English of achieved qualifications.
  • Prospective students are responsible for any financial charges incurred, e.g. in having documents translated into English.
  • All prospective students whose first language is not English must have achieved an appropriate level of competence in that language, demonstrated by a recognised proficiency test or qualification. Academic Panel sets the minimum level required and language support classes are in place for those who need improvements in English language free of charge.
  • International prospective students should familiarise themselves with the requirements of Sri Lanka immigration system. Information available at http://www.immigration.gov.lk
  • Prospective students who will require a Study visa to study are governed by the immigration rules of the Sri Lanka Government and admissions procedures comply with those requirements.
  • Prospective students with prior experience and/or academic credit The Academic Panel sets the minimum entry level for programmes of study at the Institute, taking into consideration requirements of the validating body.
  • It is the policy of Pearlbay Institute to promote lifelong learning and support widening participation. The institute acknowledges that many potential students already possess a range of skills and knowledge gained through a wide range of experiences, and this policy allows appropriate prior learning and/or experience to be formally recognised.
  • The institute recognises prior learning/experience, also referred to as APL (accreditation of prior learning) or RPL (recognition of prior learning), in two situations:
  • for entry at the beginning of a course;
  • for entry with advanced standing, i.e. with exemption from specific modules or to a later stage of a course In both situations, although academic guidance will be given with respect to the nature of appropriate materials, the prospective student is responsible for making their claim for the recognition of prior learning or experience by providing the institute with all relevant evidence to support the claim.
  • Entry with advanced standing will be permitted in line with the regulations of the validating body.

Evidence must accord with the following principles:

  • Acceptability: there must be an appropriate match (in terms of breadth and depth of content) between the evidenced learning/experience and the entry requirements of the course or the modules against which credit is being claimed. This is a matter of academic judgement.
  • Sufficiency: the quality and quantity of the evidenced prior learning/experience must be sufficient to support the volume of credit claimed at the correct level. This is a matter of academic judgement.
  • Authenticated: through objective evidence from a source other than the prospective student – such as an official transcript or programme specification.
  • Currency: the prior learning must be no greater than six years old, and within that timescale, sufficiently contemporaneous to be still relevant to the subject.
  • Prior to an application being submitted, informal discussion should take place between the institute and the prospective student to clarify the range and type of evidence likely to be available and its potential appropriateness bearing in mind that collating such evidence, and evaluating it, is likely to be time consuming both for the prospective student and for the institute.
  • In the case of applications for entry with advanced standing, during such informal discussion the institute should ensure that the prospective student is directed to the relevant module specifications on the website.
  • In evaluating evidence of prior experience or uncertificated learning particular attention should be paid to:
  • Identifying relevant experience and the learning achieved from that experience;
  • Ensuring that if accreditation is granted it is likely that the prospective student will be able to cope with the demands of the programme
  • In addition, in the case of applications for entry at the beginning of a course, particular attention should be paid to:
  • Assessing the comparability of learning to the programme entry requirements.
  • In addition, in the case of applications for entry with advanced standing, particular attention should be paid to:
  • Assessing the comparability of learning to the module learning outcomes (taking into account module content, level and temporal equivalence bearing in mind the notional learning hours per credit of academic programmes)

Mature prospective students

  • The admission classes students who will be 24 or over when they start their course as ‘mature’
  • Mature prospective students will be considered according to the same principles, and will be required to meet the same criteria for entry, as other prospective students.
  • Where mature prospective students do not offer formal or standard qualifications, they will be invited to use the APL route

Requests for feedback and admissions appeals

  • At the written request of an unsuccessful prospective student, the institute will provide feedback which outlines the reasons for rejection or for making an alternative course offer.
  • If, after receiving feedback from the institute, a prospective student feels an error has occurred, an Admissions Appeal can be made. Details of grounds for appeal and timescales can be found in the Admissions Appeals Policy, available on the website or from the Admissions and Registration Team.

Breach of Policy

Admissions Appeals:

  • If a prospective student feels an error has occurred, they have the right to request a review of the
  • selection decision on one of the following grounds:
  • relevant information was missing from the original application (with good reason);
  • there has been a misinterpretation of information or data contained within the original application.
  • there is evidence of bias or prejudice.
  • there was a procedural irregularity in the handling of the application.
  • Appeals that question the academic judgement or integrity of academic staff will not be considered.
  • Other complaints:
  • If the prospective student wishes to make a complaint about the conduct of a member of staff or other issue not covered by the Admissions Appeals Policy outlined above, they should use the

Complaints Policy, available at www.pearlbayinstitute.com or by writing to the enquiries@pearlbayinstitute.com