A guide to post-qualification anxieties (2 of 2)

February 17, 2011

The debate about PQA presumes that the only qualifications that matter for entry to higher education are A levels. This in turn makes the leap of faith that there is a complete correlation between A-level performance and success on a course of higher education, the evidence for which is very sparse, with the exception of those gaining the highest and lowest A-level results.

There are today many institutions and courses where ability to benefit and talent are measured by means other than crude A-level results, sometimes outside the traditional Universities and Colleges Admissions Service process. An example is the use of auditions and interviews by music conservatoires and the existence of non-Ucas admission routes, such as the Conservatoires UK Admissions Service.

The imposition of a "one-size-fits-all" PQA system would not be acceptable if it attempted to crush the diversity of the sector.

Mike Milne-Picken, Academic registrar, Royal Northern College of Music.

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