A– level results day is on Thursday. It normally brings great deals of pictures of youths jumping in the air and lazy analysts doing their finest to soft-pedal the accomplishments of personnel and trainees, in spite of not stepping foot in a school for years.
What it does not normally bring is much conversation about the reality that a great deal of the outcomes will have little effect on where and what increasing varieties of college student research study.
The University and College Union (UCU) has actually been something of an only voice requiring reform, however the recent explosion in unconditional offers and “conditional genuine deals”– where a trainee is just ensured a location if they note the university as their very first option– have actually exposed the failings of our system. We have actually seen a genuine shift in opinion.
Practically 2 in 5 trainees (38%) got a minimum of one genuine deal this year, compared to a 3rd (34%) in 2015 and simply 1% 6 years back.
We are alone in utilizing a system where trainees are used university locations based upon anticipated grades, which are infamously incorrect– just 16% of students actually match the marks they were predicted
Transferring to a post-qualification admissions (PQA) system– where individuals use to university after they get their outcomes– would handle the issue of incorrect grade predications, eliminate the disorderly cleaning system, make genuine deals redundant and level the playing field for trainees.
Current evaluations revealed by universities guard dog the Office for Students and Universities UK, which represents vice-chancellors, recommend that universities are lastly overtaking the concept that our system is not up to scratch. The rate of modification has actually not fasted and previous attempts to challenge the status quo have failed.
The outbound education secretary, Damian Hinds, said the increase in unconditional offers was “disturbing” and “might be symptomatic of broader problems within university admissions procedures”. He has likewise spoken out against the use of conditional unconditional offers, comparing them to “pressure-selling methods, which are hurting trainees’ grades”.
It appears much easier at present to discover assistance for relocating to a PQA system than opposition. The lazy defence of the status quo is that such a transformation would be disruptive and unfeasible, however that simply does not prove out when we take a look at what other nations do.
A root and branch reform of our admissions system would supply a chance for joined-up thinking– both in regards to how trainees are supported to choose about where to study, and in how we guarantee organizations are making reasonable, transparent and educated options about the trainees they wish to inform.
Any reform need to guarantee that the voices of personnel and trainees are heard. UCU members are as dedicated as anybody to making the system fairer. In a study of admissions personnel, seven out of 10 respondents stated they backed a PQA system.
The tide is kipping down favour of reform and a genuine chance now exists for an extreme overhaul. The existing system, based upon incorrectly anticipated outcomes, is stopping working trainees. It is time we embraced the kind of system utilized worldwide where university deals are based upon real accomplishments rather of uncertainty.