Quality row hides cuts aim

September 22, 1995

When the diploma in art and design was taken over by the Council for National Academic Awards there was a regulation that art colleges/polytechnic faculties of art and design could admit up to 6 per cent of intakes to entrants with artistic ability but no formal qualifications in terms of A and O levels.

The balance of 94 per cent of all art students had to meet A and O level general education entry requirements, without exception.

Messrs Smithers and Aldridge-Morris (THES, September 15) reveal in their letters that a substantial proportion of "new" university entrants today would have failed art school general education requirements in 1975 (and they would not have met art ability requirements).

If such persons take a degree at a "new" university (without A levels) will they later be rejected as postgraduates at "older" universities which maintain stringent entry standards for undergraduates?

Thomas Simmonds 99 Chelsea Cloisters Sloane Avenue London SW3.

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