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Universities should give offers after results day, says study that argues move would end unconditional offers

Universities should give offers after results day, says study that argues move would end unconditional offers 

School leavers should apply to universities only after seeing their A-level results, a move that would end the controversial use of unconditional offers, in a major reform of the current system, according to a report backed by university staff.

Changes to the timing of the academic year and greater support for school-leavers could also form part part of the reforms, according to the report.

The move would end the uncertainties and perverse outcomes that bedevil the current system, including bias in favour of independent school applicants, according to the report’s backers.

The reforms, backed by the Universities and College Union, would see school-leavers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland apply for courses after seeing the results of their A-level and BTec exams or other qualifications, rather than applying months beforehand, as is currently the case.

Earlier research by UCU showed that the existing application system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is a global outlier compared to other high-performing countries, and the only one to use predicted grades as the basis for admissions.

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/jan/14/universities-should-give-offers-after-results-day-says-study

Why NOT getting into Oxbridge can make, not break, students

Shaun Fenton, head of Reigate Grammar School and HMC chair, argues that many universities offer students the same "or better" than Oxbridge and pupils should not see themselves as a failure if they do not secure an Oxbridge place.

A place won at Oxford or Cambridge is still, very much, a champagne moment in life.

But here’s the thing. Our ancient universities are still world class, but so are others in the UK and beyond, and there are more routes to success now than ever before.

Some other universities have different and (whisper it) sometimes more relevant strengths and offer more innovative courses in computer science, media technologies, art and design, to name but a few – but with real strength in traditional areas of study such as the sciences, history and creative subjects. Aerospace engineering, software development and industrial sciences…the options are growing and the subject titles signal their employability factor.

Some students will take blue-chip degree apprenticeships where they learn, earn, acquire professional experience, get qualified and be debt free.

There is no doubt that among those who Oxbridge have opted to turn down are young people who will go on to become inspiring poets, ground-breaking scientists and engineers, a future prime minister or three, great authors and artists, doctors, architects and wealth creators.

You may know someone just like that: spare a thought for them.

Read more at: https://www.tes.com/news/why-not-getting-oxbridge-can-make-not-break-students