University admissions shake up proposed
Most of us can probably remember applying for University and for some it would have only been last year. It's a pain staking process for some as you have to check out your predicted grades, choose a course to study, choose 5 Universities (4 for medicine/dentistry) and then write a personal statement.
Many top students and teachers have argued that the process is too complicated and can actually favour the A Level students who come from a more privileged background.
Under the current system, students who attend private schools have a number of advantages. The Guardian reported that these students are urged to apply early in order to get a head start over any competition. The reality is that early UCAS applications favour the candidate.
Pupils who attend top class secondary schools or private colleges have been said to also benefit from being around people that know the application process. They are more likely to receive guidance from family members who have applied for University previously. Also, tutors and teachers in private schools are said to be more forceful with their pupils applications. This can involve high supervision with personal statements and even direct contact with the universities in order to vouch for students.
The reality is that this contact between schools and universities along with the early applications should not make an impact but it does.
So what is the solution? UCAS has set out a proposal to shake up the University application process and plan to bring it into affect by 2016.
The new proposal for university admissions involves applications based on your grades as opposed to your “predicted” grades.
It is thought that under the current system students are rushed to make a decision on universities and courses without having the time to research and this new system will allow them that in order to make a more informed choice with their A Level grades.
It would require A Level students to take their exams 15 days earlier and then receive their results in July. It would then be during this month that students would apply for 2 universities as opposed to the 5 now.
UCAS have stated that students would then wait until one day to find out if they have received a place at their chosen universities and if they have not then they would simply apply again. This would obviously abolish University clearing, which has come under fire in previous years due to technical failures.
There has been some opposition to these proposed changes from a number of sources. Some university application officers have commented on the fact that students are not only judged on grades but also a wider range of background information. Under the proposed system there would be not time to profile that many students.
Some have also argued that it would be too much to fit into such a short space of time. Students have to sort out their student finance and student accommodation among other things and this could lead to a lot of stress in a time when they are supposed to be preparing for possibly one of the most life changing experiences of their lives.
We spoke to some students at Manchester College who were happy to give their views on the proposed changes to the system and chose two opposing views.
Malik: I really struggled with the application this year and found it hard to apply for universities with only my predicted grades. It felt a bit like gambling to be honest and this new system sounds pretty good. Also, some of my mates go to other schools and they got lots of help for applying.
Mark: I the system is fine how it is. I had no real problems applying for a course and uni. I think they need to sort out other things first like the stupid cost of uni fees and the student finance office. That's the only thing I'm worried about going to uni.
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