A-level takers on the wane

June 14, 1996

The proportion of 18-year-olds taking A levels is declining, Universities and Colleges Admissions Service chief executive Tony Higgins said this week. Only 65 per cent of university applicants now obtained A levels.

UCAS released data detailing the performance of A-level students accepted by universities.

The Dearing 16-19 qualifications review argued that an advanced GNVQ with distinction could be the equivalent of two grade As at A level or 20 points. Home students accepted on degrees this year scored an average of 18.2 points. Mr Higgins said students wanting to attend university should not rule out vocational courses.

Applicants for undergraduate veterinary science have the highest average A level grades for the second year in a row. As in 1995, professional courses are the most popular, accounting for five of the top seven courses. Mr Higgins said the figures showed that students' A-level grades were rising. The 1.5 per cent increase in applicants reflected better exam performances.

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