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Education in the media: 8 December 2016

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Admissions, Exams and qualifications, Higher Education, Uncategorized, Universities

Today’s news review looks at a report from the University and College Union (UCU) calling for an overhaul of the university application process due to a high proportion of incorrect A-level predictions.

A-level predictions

Today, Thursday 8 December, the University and College Union (UCU) released a report which found that only 16% of university applicants achieve the A-level grades predicted by their teachers.

UCU called for an overhaul of the system whereby students apply to university after they receive their results.

It is important to note that higher education institutions are independent, autonomous bodies. They are responsible for their own admissions decisions and we would expect them to take account of the full range of information available, not just predicted grades.

In addition, in 2012, UCAS conducted a wide-ranging review into the feasibility of a post-results admissions system, which would allow students to apply to university after they get their A-levels. However, this clearly concluded that the system would not work after schools, colleges and the higher education sector raised concerns about the practicalities of implementation and the risks it posed for certain applicants.

UCAS chief Mary Curnock Cook has also rejected the UCU's calls, reiterating that a post-results application system would work against those from less advantaged backgrounds.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

It is up to universities, as independent bodies, to decide on their admissions processes. However, we would expect them to take account of the full range of information available, not just predicted grades, so that they select the students with the talent and potential to succeed on their particular course.

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