The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service is a UK-based organisation whose main role is to operate the application process for British universities. It operates as an independent charity, funded by fees charged to applicants and to universities, plus advertising income, was formed in 1992 through the merger of the former university admissions system UCCA and the former polytechnics admissions system PCAS. Services provided by UCAS include several online application portals, a number of search tools and free information and advice directed at various audiences, including students considering higher education, students with pending applications to higher education institutes and legal guardians of applicants and Further Education college staff involved in helping students apply and providers of higher education. While UCAS is best known for its undergraduate application service, it operates a number of other admissions services: Conservatoires UK Admissions Service – for performing arts at a UK conservatoire UCAS Teacher Training – for postgraduate teacher training schemes UK Postgraduate Application and Statistical Service – for some postgraduate courses UCAS Progress – for post-16 education and training UCAS is based near Marle Hill in Cheltenham at the junction of the B4075 and the A435, near Cheltenham Racecourse and a park and ride.

It is situated just inside the parish of Gloucestershire. UCAS was formed in 1992 by the merger of Universities Central Council on Admissions and Polytechnics Central Admissions System and the name UCAS is a contraction of the former acronyms UCCA and PCAS. An early proposal was made for the new merged body to be called PUCCA. UCCA was the older of the two bodies, having been formed in 1961 to provide a clearing house for university applications in the United Kingdom, it was created in response to concerns during the 1950s that the increase in University applications was unmanageable using the systems in place, where each student applied individually to as many institutions as they chose. This concern led to the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals setting up an ad hoc committee in 1957 to review the matter, its First and Second Reports had made a number of recommendations aimed at harmonising admissions procedures across different universities. The name UCCA referred to the management board overseeing the new process, but soon came to refer to the organisation responsible for its day-to-day operation.

This was based in London, moved to Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in 1968. The new scheme had a pilot year handling a subset of applications for entry in 1963, its first full year of operation handled admissions for 1964; the scheme was a collaborative venture between independent universities, membership was voluntary. Most English universities joined from the start. Oxford and Cambridge joined for the 1966 entry. In 1965 UCCA handled 80,033 applicants, rising to 114,289 in 1969; the acceptance rate of UCCA applicants by universities in 1969 stood at just over 50%. Processing of applications was carried out using punched card technology. In 1964, UCCA started using the services of a computer bureau with a Univac machine. Although the polytechnics were degree-teaching institutions, through the CNAA awards system, they were not eligible for admission to UCCA as it was reserved only for universities with degree awarding powers. Despite this the Polytechnics were involved as early as 1972 in discussions with UCCA and the Central Register and Clearing House about the possible future shape of one or more admissions systems.

At this stage applicants dealt directly with each individual polytechnic and the polytechnics themselves were regional or local in their appeal. A study in 1977 found that between sixty and seventy per cent of those admitted to a polytechnic had applied to that institution only, that forty per cent of admissions to polytechnics resulted from applications made in August or September of the year of entry. In 1983 the Committee of Directors of Polytechnics began negotiations with UCCA to share its computing and office facilities in Cheltenham to establish a course entrance system, based on the existing model used by UCCA. A grant of £210,000, from the British Department for Education and Science, was awarded to set up a new unified admissions system, provisionally called PUCCA. However, instead of a unified system for both the universities and polytechnics a separate system for polytechnics emerged from the negotiations, modelled on UCCA, but known as PCAS. Applicants to courses were given the option to apply separately for universities or polytechnics, or for both.

The PCAS system came into effect in 1985. It was led by its first Chief Executive, Tony Higgins, in the first year it handled around 140,000 applications to polytechnic courses, of whom 40,000 a year went on to study at polytechnics. Although many polytechnics offered art and design programmes, some offered teacher training courses, these admissions systems remained outside PCAS. Art and Design admissions worked to a timetable as a result of the role Art Foundation courses had in developing a student's proposed specialism. Work was furthermore

Kirk Shaw

Kirk Shaw is a Canadian-born producer who founded Insight Film Studios in 1990. From 2006 to 2009 Insight Film Studios was Canada's largest independent production house. Through Insight Shaw has produced more than 100 award-winning films, including Helen, a 2009 drama starring Ashley Judd that won a Leo Award in 2009 for Best Supporting Performance by a Female in a Feature Length Drama and was nominated for Best Feature Length Drama. Shaw was part of the production team for the 2008 project, The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigelow and starring Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes and Evangeline Lilly, which reached international acclaim at the 82nd Academy Awards, it was nominated for nine Oscars including Best Picture and won six including Best Director for Bigelow, the first woman to win this award. The film earned numerous awards and honours from critics' organizations and groups, including six BAFTA Awards, was nominated for three Golden Globes in 2010. Shaw produced such notable films such as Battle in Seattle in 2007, Directed by Stuart Townsend and starring Charlize Theron, Woody Harrelson and Joshua Jackson.

Insight Film Studios generated $500 million in film and television projects from 2005 to 2008. In February 2012, Kirk Shaw joined Odyssey Media as a television content producer/packager. In September 2017, Kirk Shaw joined the new publicly trade company, Wonderfilm, as one of the founding members along with producers Dan Grodnik, Jeff Bowler and Bret Saxon. Wonderfilm has a $30 million slate of production in place with the first film under this new venture set to star Nicolas Cage. Shaw completed a journalism diploma at Douglas College in BC with the initial intent of becoming a writer, he landed on the administrative side of journalism, was part of the management that launched the tabloid Edmonton Sun in 1978. Upon his return to Vancouver in the mid-1980s, Shaw spent 12 years in the computer business before launching Insight Films. Shaw launched Insight Films to produce self-guided audio tours for museums and branched into video after he was approached by the Museum of Vancouver to produce display videos.

In 1994, Shaw began to produce his own documentaries, with Insight’s first dramatic feature film released in 2001, Maximum Surge. From 2006 to 2009 Kirk Shaw's Insight Film Studios was Canada's largest independent production house. Shaw has been deemed an unfair engager by the Writers Guild of Canada. In 2012, Shaw announced his appointment to Vancouver-based, Odyssey Media Inc. as an Executive Consultant and Producer. Odyssey Media Inc. opened its doors in 2011 with offices in Vancouver BC, LA and in Brisbane Australia as Odyssey Film Studios In Shaw’s own words, “I’m excited to be joining Odyssey. The entertainment industry is in the midst of a great transformation and Odyssey Media is positioned to lead the change. I know I can tailor cast, funding sources and filming locations around the globe to match the unique requirements of a variety of feature films Odyssey has in the works, as well as, bring my projects to Odyssey by leveraging short-term funding to back pay-or-play deals for actors, cash-flow prep and to confidently secure optimum distribution value.”In 2012, Shaw and Odyssey Media packaged and produced their first film together, Absolute Deception, an action/thriller starring Academy Award Winner Cuba Gooding Jr. Kirk helped kickstart his son, Christos Shaw’s acting career.

In January 2013, Odyssey announced new investor funding for a 15-film slate of films In June 2013, Odyssey Media/Odyssey Film Studios and Kirk Shaw Executive Produced the Feature Film Drive Hard starring John Cusack and Thomas Jane. Hard Drive was filmed throughout Australia's Gold Coast. For 2014 Odyssey Media and Kirk Shaw packaged and produced Pound of Flesh starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. Shot in China for worldwide release in 2015. In 2015, with close to 200 film and television credits to his name, Shaw is one of the leading film financiers and producers

Donovan Simmonds

Donovan Ashton Simmonds is an English footballer who last played for Kingstonian. He plays as a striker. Simmonds began his youth career with London side Charlton Athletic, before moving to Coventry City where he failed to make any appearances, he spent two spells on loan with Gillingham and in the Scottish Premier League with Kilmarnock, before being released in 2009. He spent a short spell with Maltese club Floriana, before returning to the United Kingdom to sign for Greenock Morton in the Scottish Football League First Division. Simmonds signed for Conference North club Nuneaton Town in September 2010, for Dover Athletic two months later, he signed for Chelmsford City in September 2012. Simmonds joined Coventry City on a free transfer, signing a two-year deal following his release from the Charlton Athletic academy at the end of the 2006–07 season. Simmonds had impressed while on trial, playing in two friendly matches and a testimonial match against Nuneaton Borough, in which he netted in a 5–0 win.

He was one of a number of Coventry signings to have worked with manager Iain Dowie during their brief time together at Charlton. On 28 March 2008, it was announced that Simmonds had joined Gillingham on loan until the end of the season, where he was given the number 2. Simmonds made his Gills debut in a 2–1 home win against Luton Town on 1 April. On 13 August 2008 Simmonds joined Kilmarnock on a loan deal set to last until 5 January 2009. Simmonds scored his debut Killie goal with a late header against Falkirk after coming on as a sub. In December, Kilmarnock announced. On 19 August 2009, it was confirmed that Simmonds had joined Maltese Premier League side Floriana, following his release from Coventry. Simmonds scored his first goal since joining the Greens in the 1–0 win over Hamrun Spartans on 4 October 2009. After leaving Floriana, Simmonds trained with Greenock Morton, playing two trial matches to try to win a deal. Simmonds signed for Scottish First Division side Morton on 27 February 2010, until the end of the season.

He was released by Morton at the end of the 2009–10 season. Simmonds signed a contract with Rushden & Diamonds on 6 August 2010, he signed for Conference North outfit Nuneaton Town on 20 September 2010 and played his debut less than 24 hours in Nuneaton's 3–0 defeat of Harrogate Town. Simmonds returned to Kent for his third club in less than half a season, joining Dover Athletic in December 2010 and scoring on his début against Maidenhead United, he was released in May 2012 by the club. Simmonds signed for Conference South club Chelmsford in September 2012, he scored two goals and made an assist in an FA Cup 1st round tie with local rivals Colchester United, which Chelmsford won 3–1. In November 2013, Simmonds signed for Isthmian League club and featured in their starting lineup, before leaving the club at the end of the season. On 2 August 2014, Donovan joined Conference North side Tamworth following a successful trial period, was joined on the same day by Brendon Daniels and George Grayson. Simmonds joined Bishop's Stortford in October 2014.

Donovan Simmonds at Soccerbase