In recent news we have learned that more university places are likely to be allocated to students achieving top grades in their A Levels this year. The Minister of State for Universities and Science David Willets has announced today that several more university places will be allocated to top A Level students with AAB grades. An increase of 20,000 places will now be available to students awarded top level grades. Willetts has said that – rather than the anticipated 65,000, 85,000 places would go to students with AAB A-level grades, writes Sean Coughlan for BBC News. This will come as welcome news for A Level students who are now more likely to get their 1st choice, as these figures represent 1 in 4 entrants likely to benefit.
Mr Willetts, speaking at a conference for the Higher Education Funding Council for England reiterated that students who get AAB A Level grades or better will not be limited by the number of places available, meaning many universities will be expanding to accommodate these top-class students. Yet this proposal allows for more competition amongst the other universities causing more high-grade students to opt for the more prestigious institutions, thus potentially ostracizing the middle-ranking universities. The Russell Group, leading researcher for 20 of the UK’s leading universities have remarked on the potential for this trend and has suggested the importance of more university places to be made available in this way, also putting forward the need for more university spaces to be allocated to A Level pupils with ABB grades.
All proposed reforms suggest universities will face continuous scrutiny from perspective students regarding their course content and quality of teaching. Willets insists there would be “no quotas” and “no social engineering” and maintained students will be accepted on the basis of their ability.
Willetts also remarked on the need to develop international options for UK universities. Quoting UNESCO figures that by 2025, “the number of global students in higher education will have risen to 260 million from the current 150 million”. He also highlighted that UK universities need to appear approachable to overseas students, suggesting strict visa rules could prevent fostering such a relationship. He progressed by addressing the early days notion of universities in the UK being “one of Britain’s great growth industries of the future” with a view to export the ethos, theories, practice, principles and assessment of UK universities internationally.
For more information on studying A Levels with Oxford College, please click the following link: http://www.oxfordcollege.ac/courses/a-level-courses