Leader: Accuracy vs access

April 30, 2004

The annual panic over admissions to the top universities has started early this year, sparked by the apparently surprising discovery that three As at A level do not guarantee a place to study medicine. In fact, entry to medicine is hardly any more selective than it was five years ago - there are more applicants but also more places. The difference is that more sixth-formers are being predicted (and are getting) the top grades. Expectations rise and, with them, levels of disappointment.

An A* grade, or greater use of marks, would help ensure that the top performers win through, but modelling by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance shows that the beneficiaries would come mainly from independent schools. Given the class profile disclosed in our own analysis that would be bound to lead to even more controversy over widening participation.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns