Ahead of #ALevel #ResultsDay this week the Universities Minister @MichelleDonelan has written to all Vice-Chancellors to urge them to be flexible in their admissions
In a letter to all Vice-Chancellors, the Universities Minister has asked institutions to hold places for students appealing their grades until they receive the outcome of the appeal, where possible. The Minister has also said universities should take into account a range of evidence when admitting students to courses.
Michelle Donelan has made clear that the exam boards are committed to doing all that is possible to resolve appeals for affected candidates by 7 September – the deadline for applicants to meet academic offer conditions.
In the letter, the Universities Minister has also confirmed that the Government will exempt certain students who successfully go through the appeals process from counting towards student number controls held by individual institutions.
This exemption will apply to those whose grades are successfully appealed, increased to meet the conditions of a university offer, and their place confirmed because of this, ensuring they are able to move onto their chosen route.
Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said:
“Nobody should have to put their future on hold because of this virus.
"That is why I am urging universities to be as flexible as possible in their admissions and to hold places for those whose grades are being appealed.
“Our ambition for students this year is no different to any other year and it is in everybody’s interest to see them progress.”
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
"I'm confident the system Ofqual has put in place is fundamentally a fair one, that will award the vast majority of students a calculated grade that genuinely reflects the grade they would have achieved. Provisional data published by Ofqual suggests that the number of As and A*s being awarded will increase compared to last year and moderation has ensured students from all backgrounds have been treated fairly.
“We know that, without exams, even the best system is not perfect. That is why I welcome the fact that Ofqual has introduced a robust appeal system, so every single student can be treated fairly - and today we are asking universities to do their part to ensure every young person can progress to the destination they deserve."
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said:
‘Thousands of A-level students are receiving their results this week, but the current university admissions system, based on inaccurately predicted results, means students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to lose out. Black and minority ethnic students, and those who were the first in their family to go to university want to see it changed. This report shows that many sector leaders agree that the time has come move away from the current system.
‘Allowing students to apply after they receive their results would help level the playing field for disadvantaged students, remove the problems associated with unconditional offers and end the chaotic clearing scramble. The government now needs to publish its modelling and work with the education sector to move to a new system.’
NEON director Dr Graeme Atherton said:
‘This report shows there is cross-sector support for reform to the university admission system. It is essential that we now develop a system that unites schools, colleges and universities and places the needs of students first. The report presents evidence showing educational leaders support a new system that enables rather than prevents students from disadvantaged backgrounds entering higher education.’