Why serious changes need to be made to the way we apply and are selected for university places.
This year huge numbers of universities have declared all their places filled and therefore will not be joining the clearing process. This means that any students who missed their grades will not be able to pick up another equally good place elsewhere. With so much experience of the application process, we argue that the whole system needs to change.
While there may not be resources for every student to be interviewed for every place, surely in these testing economic times, where prospective students are looking to fork out at least three times the amount that their predecessors incurred, there is a responsibility to ensure that the very best students get a place they deserve.
With this year’s crop of results again sparking the debate on whether exam standards are slipping, it is clear that results and grades alone are no longer enough to ensure a good place for higher education. Furthermore, exams are sat in modules, all of which can be re-sat at any time, giving pupils every chance to reach their required grades. So, how do we differentiate between applicants in a sea of excellent results and extra-curricular activities?
The personal statement section of the UCAS application process is a good idea in theory, but it does not take into account spin. With some careful editing, not to mention overstretching the truth, any young person can be made to sound obsessed with their subject, dedicated to the community, or a committed sports person (whichever way they choose to present themselves), so surely we need to devise a more comprehensive way of selecting our newest crop of undergraduates?