University applications ‘should come after results’

The BBC is reporting that a university vice-chancellor has suggested the university admissions system should be switched so applications are made after students know their exam results.

Bill Rammell, a former higher education minister, says it would be fairer and more efficient than predicting grades.

Mr Rammell, vice-chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, says there should be a longer-term aim to move to a system of applying after students know their results – so-called “post-qualification application” – rather than the current system of relying on predicted grades to receive conditional offers.

“If you started afresh you wouldn’t have this elaborate system of predicted grades,” he said.

But in the shorter term Mr Rammell says there are growing pressures from students which are already pushing the system towards post-qualifications applications.

He says that at his university he has already seen a growing number of students applying for the first time during clearing once they know their A-level results, rather than by the initial mid-January deadline.

Students are able to begin applications during clearing, which also provides a back-up system for those who missed out on their required grades.

Research from the admissions system, Ucas, has shown that about half of A-level grades predicted by teachers are incorrect.

Although a formal switch to a post-results system might not be imminent, he says the pressure of students who are applying late will “effectively push it in that direction”…

More at: University applications ‘should come after results’


We’ve already reported Bill ramble’s views on this on the site and, let’s face it, he has a point doesn’t he?

Do you agree that it makes more sense for students to get their grades first (and even if not, clearing is surely turning into post qualification application by stealth anyway isn’t it)?

Please give us your thoughts and reactions in the comments or via Twitter…


Would you like to see a post qualification approach to university admissions?


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Applying for uni using actual rather than predicted grades is better but relies heavily on an efficient application process

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Applying for uni using actual rather than predicted grades is better but relies heavily on an efficient application process

  3. nastyoldmrpike

    andylutwyche brighton118 SchoolsImprove we all know gcse grades are a better predictor of success at university, a levels just a con.

  4. nastyoldmrpike

    andylutwyche brighton118 SchoolsImprove sorry it is A level grades better than gcse better than As level grades.

  5. andylutwyche

    “nastyoldmrpike: andylutwyche brighton118 SchoolsImprove also they are all better than SAT score (iq).” Absolutely!

  6. nastyoldmrpike

    andylutwyche brighton118 SchoolsImprove this is due to SAT score not measuring conscientiousness which is clearly very necessary!

Let us know what you think...