One person helping the other

University leaders say their institutions are ready to help the growing number of students applying to university this summer and that students should continue to be ambitious with their study choices.

In the lead up to Results Day for AS/A levels, many vocational qualifications including Level 3 BTECs, and Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers on Tuesday 10 August, Universities UK and UCAS are issuing advice for applicants and their families.

This stresses that, like last summer, universities will adapt to the new assessment arrangements, be flexible when considering results, and support students in their decision making.

There is no algorithm this year. Instead, for most qualifications, results will come from teacher assessment, which means pupils will be assessed by their teachers only on what they have been taught.

Commenting Alistair Jarvis, Universities UK Chief Executive, said:

“We appreciate that this year’s school leavers have had a disrupted and difficult time because of the pandemic and that results day can be stressful. University admissions teams will be going the extra mile over the coming weeks to support students. They will take account of individual circumstances and do what they can to make it a smooth transition to university. Students should continue to be ambitious in their choices, gaining a university experience and qualification can transform their lives.” 

Clare Marchant, UCAS’ Chief Executive, said:

“Students can expect to be well supported by UCAS and universities as they make their decisions over the summer. Universities and colleges continue to be flexible, as they have been throughout the pandemic, and have worked hard to be able to welcome more students onto their courses in the autumn.

“Whatever their individual circumstances, there will be a range of options for students to choose from. Thousands of undergraduate courses have vacancies in Clearing, and our apprenticeship service is also ready to help students who are considering this career pathway. UCAS is ready to help students make the right choices for them, leading to the next successful steps in their learning and careers.”

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said:

“As we move towards results day, I want to reassure students that flexibility and fairness are at the heart of our assessment plans, to ensure they can go onto the next stage of their lives, and that they are fully supported as they make these important choices.

“We have been working alongside schools, colleges, awarding organisations, and the higher education sector so we can continue to put students’ interests at the centre of decision-making, and ensure they have the time to carefully consider their options and make the best choices for their future.

“I’d like to thank all universities for their ongoing commitment to ensuring students have access to the opportunities needed to succeed.”

Universities UK and UCAS have issued this advice for this year’s applicants:

  1. The importance of careers advice  

Whether things go better or worse than expected on results day, applicants should turn to their school/college advisers for advice and admissions teams at universities will be on hand to lend their support so applicants can make informed choices about where, when and what to study. UCAS’ website, social media channels, which now include TikTok, and experts on the phone can also provide personalised information and advice to help students with their decisions.


  1. It’s not just about grades

Universities offer places based on a range of factors, not just qualifications, such as other relevant experience, sometimes including performance at interview or audition, and individual family and schooling circumstances. Even if applicants do not get the required grades, they should not assume it rules out their first university choice. 


  1. Fairness

This year’s exam results will be verified and quality assured, and universities are experts in managing admissions so students should be assured they will be fairly treated, even though the method of assessment this year – teacher-assessed grades in England or centre-determined grades in Wales and Northern Ireland – is different.


  1. Universities will continue to be flexible

Universities appreciate that the impact of Covid-19 has made life difficult for applicants and they will take this into account as they award places. Universities will continue to be flexible in their admissions policies, given the level of disruption to schooling over the last 18 months. This means universities will, as in other years, take an applicant’s own circumstances into account as entry decisions are made. This contextualisation will especially help students from disadvantaged backgrounds – who have applied in record numbers this year, following the highest ever level of acceptance numbers in 2020.


  1. Appealing

Students can appeal their results - firstly to their school/college and then, if they still think there is an error, to the exam board. However, applicants should speak to their chosen university before opting to appeal because it might not be necessary, and it could hold up securing their place. Also, applicants need to remember that grades can go up, down or remain the same following appeals this year. It is recommended that the student share their appeal results with universities by the advisory UCAS deadline of 8 September, though students should stay in touch with their universities if this will be an issue.


  1. Sitting an exam in the autumn

A level exams are available for those who wish to sit an exam (in England) in October but doing so will almost certainly mean it would be too late to start a university course this autumn. If you choose to sit an exam in autumn, universities and colleges may consider these as ‘first-sits’.


  1. Impact of Covid

Universities continue to respond in-line with public health requirements and, although it is too early to predict what these might be in the autumn, applicants can be confident that universities are putting students at the heart of their decisions, working hard to give as much help and support as possible to students in these unprecedented, difficult times.


  1. Scotland and Wales

Pupils in Wales and Scotland have received ‘provisional grades’, but they should not expect universities to confirm places based on these grades – students should wait for results day in August just like pupils in England and Northern Ireland.


  1. Extra support preparing for university

Universities are stepping up efforts to support the education and wellbeing of applicants transitioning to higher education this autumn with tailored support and activities that recognises the disruption they have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic. Applicants should speak to their university about how they can best prepare for the start of their university experience.


  1. University remains a great choice

Starting university in 2021 is an excellent choice. A university experience gives students the knowledge, skills and contacts to pursue their ambitions and puts graduates in a strong position as the economy recovers. A degree from a UK university continues to give a significant boost to employment prospects and improve earning potential.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Educating yourself in Prison: an inside job

Educating yourself in Prison: an inside job

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 2 days ago

RT @NCFE: ‘For as long as humans have worked, and whatever industry they may have worked in, success has always been predicated on having t…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page