Labour backs post-qualification admissions system for England

Abolishing predicted grades system would help poorer students, says Angela Rayner

八月 14, 2019
Angela Rayner
Source: Alamy

A Labour government would abolish the system of making university offers based on predicted grades and introduce post-qualification admissions in England, the party announced ahead of A-level results day.

Labour said that the move – long discussed but long resisted by sections of higher education – would end a system that penalises poorer and ethnic minority students, as well as addressing the rise in unconditional offers.

However, Clare Marchant, chief executive of Ucas, said that while the idea of post-qualification admissions has “a natural appeal, the UK-wide consultation Ucas ran in 2012 showed that, if introduced wholesale within the current timetables, it would be likely to significantly disadvantage under-represented and disabled students, unless secondary [school] and/or university calendars changed”.

The University and College Union has compiled several reports building the case for post-qualification admissions, one of which proposed a system in which first-year undergraduates could start their courses in November. Another of the UCU reports, by Gill Wyness, senior lecturer at the UCL Institute of Education, found that just 16 per cent of applicants’ grades were predicted accurately, with 24 per cent of AAB applicants from the lowest-income backgrounds underpredicted compared with 20 per cent of peers from the highest-income backgrounds.

Angela Rayner, Labour’s shadow education secretary, said: “The higher education admissions system isn’t working for students, and radical action is needed to change that.

“Predicted grades are wrong in the vast majority of cases, and disadvantaged students in particular are losing out on opportunities on the basis of those inaccurate predictions. No one should be left out of our education system just because of their background, yet with grants scrapped and fees tripled, the system is now deeply unfair.   

“A Labour government will deliver the reform that is needed, implementing a new system of post-qualification admissions by the end of our first term in office. We will put students at the heart of the system, making it fairer, more accurate, and a genuine vehicle for social justice.

“We will work with schools, colleges, and universities to design and implement the new system, and continue to develop our plans to make higher education genuinely accessible to all.”

Jo Grady, UCU general secretary, said: “We have long called for an overhaul of university admissions and welcome Labour’s commitment to reform the system. Allowing people to apply after they receive their results would help level the playing field for students, remove the problems associated with unconditional offers and end the chaotic clearing scramble.”

Ms Marchant said: “Young people need their teachers’ support when making application choices, and this isn’t readily available to all at the scale required when schools and colleges are closed during August. Once students have a place, they need time to find accommodation, finalise their financial support, and to prepare for their studies. “Universities and colleges need time for interviews, auditions, and considering contextual information about applicants, and time to put in place support services to help care leavers, first in family, and disabled students transition into higher education.”

Ms Marchant added: “It’s important to remember that predicted grades are just one part of a student’s application. Universities take a holistic view of applicants’ achievements and potential when deciding whether to make an offer.”

john.morgan@timeshighereducation.com

登录 或者 注册 以便阅读全文。

请先注册再进行下一步

获得一个月的无限制地在线阅读网站内容。只需注册并完成您的职业简介.

注册是免费的,而且非常简单。一旦成功注册,您可以每个月免费阅读3篇文章。:

  • 获得编辑推荐文章
  • 率先获得泰晤士高等教育世界大学排名相关的新闻
  • 获得职位推荐、筛选工作和保存工作搜索结果
  • 参与读者讨论和公布评论
注册

相关文章

Reader's comments (1)

whilst this report mentions that only 16% of predictions were accurate it fails to also mention that the original study found that "the vast majority (75 per cent) of applicants’ grades were over-predicted”. I suspect this is a reflection of the pressure being put on teachers by School 'Managers' to overstate the added value the school brings to nudge them a little further up the league tables. Perhaps if good, experienced teachers were allowed to express honest options the predictions would be come more accurate?

欢迎反馈

Log in or register to post comments

评论最多