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Written by Student Rights on 18 August 2010 at 9pm

UCAS playing inappropriate pranks? - Now apologises

UPDATE 2:  UCAS Media have apologised and issued the following statement (click here) commenting, "We understand and apologise for the confusion this has caused to some applicants... the e-mail did go through our normal editorial controls but we didn't account for the truncation of the email title."

UPDATE:  A disgruntled student has set up the Facebook Group stating, "This was so inappropriate! Please Join the facebook group in protest!!!: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=140819372623298&ref=tsHere's a link to the actual e-mail that was sent out: CLICK HERE

ORIGINAL STORY: In the last few hours, Student Rights has been inundated with e-mails complaining about a recent e-mail sent from UCAS. As many students wait heart in mouth to receive notification of acceptance into universities, UCAS sent out the following commercial e-mail, the subject line of which has caused much distress to candidates awaiting to hear about the university placements for the coming year. ucasuhoh

From: UCAS Media Subject: You have been accepted to receive big discounts on HP laptops! Dear [my name], As you have applied to university or college you may be starting to prepare for student life. Please find below discounts on HP laptops which I hope you will find of interest. [adverts] UCAS Media undertakes emailings for companies who have information that we feel may be relevant to prospective students. The income received from distributing this information is gift-aided back to UCAS (which is a registered charity) and used to minimise the costs of the UCAS application system both to applicants and higher education institutions. Whilst I hope that the information is useful, both UCAS Media and UCAS itself do not endorse promotional information from any organisation. Please be assured that your personal details have not been passed on to any third parties. I wish you every success in your studies. Yours sincerely Emerson Osmond Commercial Manager

Harmless prank, or completely inappropriate from the university placement non-profit?  Of course commercial sponsorship is a great way to drive costs down for the organisation, but what of decency in this time of great stress for potential students? Student Rights' view is that this was probably one that should have been avoided.  Spokesman Raheem Kassam has stated, "We can see what they're trying to do here, but it smacks of inappropriate behaviour when so many young men and women are waiting heart in mouth for their acceptances into university.  Perhaps next time they'll think twice." [developing]