University admission changes abandoned

Stacey King

Planned changes to the way that university admissions work which would have seen students applying for courses AFTER getting their A-level results have been ditched.

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Ucas, which co-ordinates university admissions, had wanted to bring forward the date at which A-levels are taken and move the application deadline back at the same time so that students could only apply once they had their final grades.

The organisation's chief executive Mary Curnock Cook had argued that students from private schools were getting an unfair advantage because they were encouraged to apply long before the official deadline - which sometimes gave them more chance of being accepted on a course.

But following a review, Ucas claims it has discovered that there would be "insurmountable difficulties" in implementing the changes - with schools not having enough time to teach A-levels.

The review said: "It simply would not be feasible to shoe-horn a post-results model into the current academic year."

Instead Ucas is seeking to make improvements to the "clearing" system - whereby students left without a course are matched up with empty spaces.

It wants to make clearing a "fair, managed, online process", adding more structure and making it less of a "scramble for places".

What do you think? Are university admissions fair? Comment below...