News Students could apply to university AFTER they get their...

Students could apply to university AFTER they get their A-level results and start in January


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STUDENTS may only be apply to universities after receiving their A Level grades in a radical overhaul of the education system.

Sixth formers currently apply months before sitting exams with often unreliable predicted grades and face a scramble to find new courses if they do better or worse than expected.

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Students may not apply to university until after their A Level results under news plans[/caption]

PA:Press Association

Currently students apply to university with often unreliable predicted grades and face a scramble to find new courses if they do better of worse than thought[/caption]

AFP or licensors

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is understood to believe the move could help disadvantaged young people[/caption]

But Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is planning to let students apply after their results and may even push back the academic year to start in January in a bid to improve social mobility and help disadvantaged schools, The Guardian reported.

Ministers have drawn up a series of models that they believe would benefit disadvantaged young people, who often receive lower predicted grades according to research by social mobility group The Sutton Trust.

They include sticking with publishing results in August but moving university start dates to January allowing five months to process actual grades.

A second option would move exam results to July but starting university in mid-October giving a 12-week window to apply.

A third would allow early applications but giving no offers until results are released and not changing the timetable.

Or the system would carry on as now with a five-week window for the application process and term to start in September.

The proposed models

Exam results will still be published in August but universities will start in January meaning they will have five months to process applications

Results would be published in July and universities would start in mid-October giving a 12-week window to apply

Students could apply before results but offers will not be made until after grades had been awarded

Or the model would remain unchanged with a five-week window for the application process and term to start in September

Ministers also want to give the government more direct oversight for admissions to do away with the complicated system of predicted grades and conditional and unconditional offers.

Universities have previously come under fire for dishing out unconditional offers in a bid to lure in more students.

Universities UK, which represents vice-chancellors, is holding its own consultation and is most likely to back a move for no offers to be made until after results day with no changes to the academic year.

Those analysing the plans suggested starting in January would promote fairness, transparency and a “strong social mobility narrative” while giving institutions time to help students prepare for university life after exams.

Advocates for the January start also insisted it would have less “negative impact” on student mental health.

But they said it could leave many restless in summer and autumn, “particularly for those disadvantaged students who are likely to need to take paid work in this time.”

Numerous failed attempts for a post-qualification admission model dating back to 2006 were thwarted by universities and school leaders who consistently opposed the plans.

In February, higher education regulation the Office for Students launched its own review of admissions but this was halted because of coronavirus.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We do not comment on leaks and will not be drawn on speculation.”


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