Scramble to fill university places risks flood of useless professionals

Universities risk “letting loose on society” young professionals who are technically qualified but “barely know their stuff”, experts claimed as it emerged that entry requirements are being slashed. This is from the Sunday Times…

More than a week after A-level results were published, the scramble to fill undergraduate places on courses as varied as engineering, law and English literature is leading to “bargain basement” offers in clearing. Students who were a few marks away from failing their A-levels are eligible to join honours degree courses for which requirements at the start of this year’s admissions round were as high as BBB.

Sixth-formers who scored as little as two E grades at A-level my now be admitted to highly academic degree courses.

Experts warned that students with limited academic ability would drop out of courses, wasting tuition fees of £9,000 a year. One warned that degree standards could be compromised and that universities risked “letting loose on society” professionals who met only basic technical qualifications.

…weeks before the start of the academic year, a reporter posing as a sixth-former was told by Bedfordshire University in Luton that most courses with places still available, including law and electrical engineering, would accept two E grades.

At Anglia Ruskin University, a reporter was told that two E grades could secure a place on biomedical sciences or English courses. Buckinghamshire New University in High Wycombe and Falmouth University said two Es were sufficient to study the arts courses still available through clearing, dependent on the quality of the students’ previous work.

Swansea Metropolitan said there were “lots of courses” that would take students with two E grades and suggested psychology, while staff at Trinity St David, also in Wales, said: “Take your pick.”

More at:  Scramble to fill university places risks flood of useless professionals (subscription required) 

Should we be concerned that places on these courses are being offered to students with 2 E grades? Tell us what you think in the comments or via twitter…

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Categories: Higher Education.


  1. JohnTrewhitt

    SchoolsImprove Not true! I got very poor A Levels, yet managed 2.1 in Physics, two masters degrees and became chief exec of quoted company.

  2. stupotwakefield

    JohnTrewhitt don’t mean to be rude but what were your a level grades if you don’t mind. Useful storyfor my students as head od 6th form

  3. JohnTrewhitt

    SchoolsImprove Physics D, Maths E Geography F (a very, very long time ago). Late developer? Now about to start PGCE at Sunderland Uni.

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