Focus on Education

Last week the University and College Union backed a proposal for a reform to university applications that would see Sixth Form students apply for courses after they had received their A Level results. A post-results university application system has been considered a number of times before in the UK and it would likely bring changes such as the demise of predicted grades, unconditional offers and the clearing process. The difficulty in realising such a change is in reaching agreement about how such a system would work in practice. The report suggested bringing A Level examinations earlier (immediately after Easter) and pushing back the start of term for undergraduates to later in the autumn. Sixth Form students would then get their results earlier in August and apply for courses thereafter. Such changes are not impossible but may be difficult to bring about because of the embedded practices of the current system. The chief executive of UCAS has warned that this revised plan may unintentionally hinder more disadvantaged pupils; for more information about this please see the TES article on the subject here.