Basic skills concern

March 5, 2004

Even the brightest A-level pupils may lack the basic numeracy and literacy they need at university, MPs were warned this week. Mike Tomlinson, the former chief inspector of schools, gave evidence to the education and skills select committee about proposals to absorb GCSEs, vocational qualifications and A levels into a new diploma. He said undergraduates and university admissions tutors shared concerns about maths and literacy. One maths student had dropped out of a degree course amid "worries about having to write something", he said.

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Universities in most nations are now obliged to prioritise graduate career prospects, but how it should be approached depends on your view of the meaning of education. Academics need to think that through much more clearly, says Tom Cutterham

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