Admission on equal terms

July 7, 1995

It is no surprise that universities and industry have welcomed with open arms students holding new vocational A levels. (THES, June 30). Colleges have embraced these new qualifications enthusiastically and have found that student support is considerable and continuing.

Nevertheless there is a danger, as The THES points out, that the General National Vocational Qualification will become an award valued on the basis of local agreements between colleges and local higher education institutions and not be seen to have equivalence nationally.

Some of the older universities would be well placed to consider their responsibilities to their potential students, their communities and industry. Candidates with equal qualifications should be considered on equal terms. It is not sufficient for universities simply to take students from colleges with which they are familiar. This raises spectres of the old boys' admissions system.

The universities have an opportunity here to show that they admit on merit, and merit alone. I am sure they will take it, and make this demonstrably so.

JUDITH NORRINGTON Head of curriculum, Association for Colleges

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