Ministers may move university applications to after A-level outcomes|Education|The Guardian

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The education secretary is preparing an extreme overhaul of England’s university admissions system, with trainees applying after A-level results and the start of the academic year possibly being relocated to January, the Guardian has actually learned.

Civil servants at the Department for Education (DfE), under Gavin Williamson, have actually modelled a shift to post-qualification admissions to improve social movement and help disadvantaged school-leavers.

Under the present system, 6th formers in England apply to university in January utilizing grades forecasted by their teachers, before sitting A-levels in late spring and accepting university offers in June. Exam outcomes are released in August, suggesting those who missed out on out on their required grades face a frenzied scramble to join cleaning and find another course. Instructor grade predictions are notoriously inaccurate, contributing to confusion for students and admissions personnel.

Under the suggested change, school leavers and other candidates would only continue with last university applications after their examination results, meaning they would have a clear understanding of the courses for which they qualify.

Ministers including Williamson are understood to believe that post-results applications would benefit disadvantaged young individuals, consisting of students from black and minority ethnic (BAME) groups.

Predicted grades are frequently unreliable. Research study from the Sutton Trust has shown that disadvantaged trainees tend to get lower forecasted A-level grades.

Ministers also desire to provide the federal government more direct oversight of the entry path to college, doing away with what they think about to be a governmental tangle of anticipated grades and conditional and genuine deals that has grown up around the existing system.

It comes as business secretary, Alok Sharma, is to reveal additional financial backing for universities, including ₤ 200m to money research posts likely to suffer from cuts originating from the coronavirus pandemic, and loans to cover losses from falling worldwide student fees. Further assistance, advancing extra research and development funding that was allocated next year, is expected to be announced quickly.

Williamson and the DfE are preparing to publish new propositions for skills, even more education and apprenticeships in the next couple of weeks, culminating in a white paper planned to rebalance post-18 education away from universities and college and towards more education, which is being provided a greater priority by both the department and Downing Street.

For the greater education sector, a method paper is being drawn up to include the push towards post-qualification admissions and other propositions targeted at enhancing the potential customers of disadvantaged candidates.

A variety of vice-chancellors likewise fear that the government wishes to secure down on trainee numbers taking liberal arts courses, particularly those with a track record of low graduate revenues.

A document gone over within the DfE this month, seen by the Guardian, outlines a variety of models for ministers and policymakers. All the choices presume post-qualification admissions as a beginning point, recommending that Williamson and others are determined to make the modification that the sector has withstood for several years.

The models include:

Examinations results released in August as is currently the case, but with university and college terms beginning in January, enabling five months for processing applications.Moving test results forward into July and the start of the university term back into mid-October, enabling a 12-week window for trainees to apply.A the same schedule, with just a five-week

window for the application procedure to run between test leads to August and the start of the university term in September, as now.University applications made before A-level outcomes are gotten, however offers of

places to trainees not released till after outcomes are released, with no change to present timings.The design of pre-qualification applications and post-results offers is likewise closest to that likely

to be proposed by the Universities UK group, which is also holding its own consultation. A DfE representative said: “We do not talk about leakages and will not be drawn on speculation.” Those analysing the plans recommended that moving the start of university terms to January would promote fairness and transparency along with a” strong social movement narrative”. The long space following completion of exams would enable universities to run courses to prepare students for greater education, as well as opportunities for applicants to participate in open days and consider their alternatives. Advocates of the transfer to a January start stated it would have less “negative impact” on the psychological health of students, although would also leave numerous at a loose end in summer season and autumn,

” especially for those disadvantaged students who are likely to require to take paid work in this time “. A January term start would likewise have an influence on applications by international students and shrink the long summertime vacation for trainees.” [Greater education] service providers not likely to willingly accept

this because of the loss of income and disturbance to the scholastic year,” one rundown document kept in mind, although it recommended that the process would be much easier for both the Ucas admissions and Student Loans Business administrators. Of the other options, the proposition for a 12-week application window in between July and October would stack pressure on schools, examination boards and Ofqual, with less time to teach A-level and other certifications and less time to mark examinations,” and we do not understand at this stage whether this would be

practical, “the analysis kept in mind. Education secretary backs review of university admissions Find out more The DfE push for post-qualification admissions is the most recent in a long line of attempts going back to 2006. On each celebration, the status quo has remained undamaged after opposition from universities and school leaders.