Ministers May Move University Applications After Level A Results | Education

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The Secretary of Education is planning a radical overhaul of the university admissions system in England, with students applying after level A results and the start of the academic year possibly moved to January, the Guardian learned.Officials from the Department of Education (DfE), led by Gavin Williamson, modeled the move to post-qualification admissions to improve social mobility and help disadvantaged out-of-school youth.

Under the current system, sixth trainers in England apply to university in January using the scores predicted by their teachers, before moving on to level A in late spring and accepting university offers in June. Exam results are released in August, which means that those who have missed their required marks face a frantic race to join the cleanup and find another course. The teachers’ grade predictions are notoriously inaccurate, which adds to the confusion for students and admissions staff.

Under the proposed change, school leavers and other applicants would only make final university applications after their exam results, which means they would have a clear understanding of the courses for which they are qualified.

The ministers, including Williamson, are convinced that the post-results candidacies would benefit disadvantaged young people, especially students from Black and Minority Ethnic Groups (BAME).

The ratings provided are often unreliable. Research from the Sutton Trust has shown that disadvantaged students tend to receive lower Grade A grades.

Ministers also want to give government more direct oversight of the path to higher education, removing what they see as a bureaucratic tangle of planned grades and conditional and unconditional offers that has grown around of the current system.

He intervenes when the secretary of affairs, Alok Sharma, must announce additional financial support to universities, in particular 200 million pounds sterling to finance the research posts likely to suffer from cuts resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, and loans to cover losses related to lower tuition fees for international students. Additional support, with additional research and development funding planned for next year, is expected to be announced shortly.

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