Cautionary advice

October 22, 1999

Two articles have suggested that higher education institutions are failing to provide an early indication of admissions policies in respect of the new 16-19 curriculum ("Schools ask for a clearer points system", THES, October 8; "It's not too early to show hand in admissions game", October 15).

There is a simple explanation for our apparent inactivity: draft specifications for the new qualifications have only just been made available, and final versions are not due to be approved until November 19.

Without scrutinising the specifications, our admissions tutors cannot determine the weight they should give to the new AS level or assess whether the new A levels will still deliver the subject-specific grounding required for successful progression to many first-year undergraduate degrees.

This is not an apologia for a comfortable seat on the admissions fence. Warwick is happy to offer preliminary guidance on admissions policy for 2001 and 2002 to any school or college requesting our views. My point is simply that half-baked policy is worse than no policy because it may be misleading.

It might also be argued that when one of the AS-level specifications advises that "work for this module is likely to have been undertaken within one year of GCSE and the level of expectation should be appropriate to this", some caution may well be justified.

Katherine Lloyd Clark Assistant registrar (undergraduate admissions), University of Warwick

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

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
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

hole in ground

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