In a league of their own

May 31, 1996

I am concerned that you attempted to demonstrate a university league table (THES, May 17) of entry requirements based on the A-level points expected to be asked of students for entry as published in University and College Entrance.

To do so ignores 35 per cent of all home students admitted to degree courses since only 65 per cent are admitted offering A levels as their main qualification.

There will always be a difference between the forecast A-level grades required and the actual grades achieved if only because grades are likely to be lower for those admitted in clearing.

Your league table takes no account of the different subject mixes of various institutions. Grades required of applicants reflect the popularity of courses, so that those institutions offering subjects in very high demand eg medicine (average grade required for 1995 entry .4) or classics (23.3) are likely to score much higher than those institutions specialising in subjects of lower demand such as teacher training (14) environmental science (14.2).

In counselling prospective students UCAS will continue its policy that there is no such thing as the "best", "second best", or "worst" university. Rather there is the best university for each particular applicant depending on their needs.

M. A. Higgins Chief executive, UCAS

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