Elite universities scrap list of ‘preferred’ A-Levels amid concerns about arts

The Independent is reporting that elite universities have scrapped a list of preferred academic A-level subjects, which does not recognise the arts, amid criticism that it forced schools to narrow the curriculum.

The Russell Group, which represents the most selective universities, will no longer list “facilitating subjects”, the ones that open most doors to top universities, after sector figures said the guidance had squeezed out creative and technical subjects.

The group of 24 universities has dropped the list – which includes maths, English, sciences, languages, history and geography – as it says it has been “misinterpreted” by people who believe these are the only subjects that top universities will consider.

The move to abandon the list comes after critics suggested it had encouraged schools to sideline subjects such as art, music and drama, as well as vocational qualifications needed for industry.

Last year, Tory MP Robert Halfon, chair of the education select committee, called on the top universities to be more open to technical subjects in a bid to improve diversity. 

The Russell Group hopes the new interactive website, which will allow students to test numerous A-level combinations to see which degrees open up to them, will help pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds understand why subject choice matters.

Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, said the list from the elite universities had been “damaging” to music education within schools – especially at A-level.

Jacqui O’Hanlon, director of education at the RSC, said the guidance had “unintentionally devalued arts subjects”.

Read the full article Elite universities scrap list of ‘preferred’ A-Levels amid concerns about arts 

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