Technical hitch for link-up

March 15, 1996

I read with interest your report (THES, March 8) that a new joint committee linking the National Council for Vocational Qualifications with the School Curriculum Authority has been set up. In Scotland, in a similar move, the Certificate of Education awards body and the vocational qualification body have been merged.

The ultimate object is to achieve parity between academic and vocational qualifications for university entrance, whereby NCVQ subjects will be accepted for university entrance.

However, the universities have never accepted GCE or Scottish Certificate passes in technical drawing or engineering drawing as counting for an entrance group, presumably since they are practical subjects which cannot be examined other than on the drawing board (non-academic subjects). Under the new dispensation, backed by the Government, universities will have to recognise technical/engineering drawing passes by NCVQ modules. Will the ancient universities accept this direction?

I. C. Simmonds

Sloane Avenue

London SW3

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