Mad scramble to reissue grades and swap university places after A-level chaos – but kids may be told to defer
STUDENTS are facing a mad scramble today to try and secure a place at their preferred university, apprenticeship or college after Gavin Williamson ripped up the A-level grades yesterday.
The Education Secretary sparked mass panic after he said the Government would revert to using teacher-predicted grades rather than computer-generated algorithms, or whichever was the higher mark.
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Thousands of students are now scrambling to get into their first choice unis[/caption]
The Government has said it wants all universities to honour their offers made to students – even though many have already dished them out to other people now.
55,000 students who had lost out on their first choice of university are now desperately scrambling to try and get in, now they have their required grades.
The Department for Education has said they can give up their other offers if they get their original firm choice confirmed.
Unis will face a logistical nightmare trying to reallocate thousands of places over the next week.
Mr Williamson has ripped up the cap on student numbers but many will still be unable to squeeze in the extra pupils.
It’s not clear whether universities have a legal obligation to dish out more offers.
Some have taken legal advice to try and figure out what they have to do, The Times reported.
The number of people who qualify for their first choice offers will now have risen hugely as a result of taking the highest grade students get.
Usually universities offer more places to students – as many won’t meet their marks or will change their minds.
One head of admissions said it was “unthinkable” that anyone made an offer would have it withdrawn, the paper said.
However, he said that he had “no idea” about what to do with the thousands of applicants who were now able to claim their place.
Gavin Williamson made a dramatic u-turn yesterday over young people’s grades[/caption]
Students delighted after their exam grades are changed[/caption]
University grades changes – what you need to know
Will I get a place if I had my offer turned down for not getting my grades on A-level results day?
It will depend entirely on the university, but yes you should now be able to get a spot with your first choice if you now have the correct marks.
Last night the Government said it wanted universities to honour all the offers they had made, as long as students get the grades.
Universities may still decide to give a student a place if their new grades meet their offers.
But it’s not yet clear whether they have a legal obligation to do this or it will depend on how nice they are feeling.
But there’s also the issue of space.
Universities often offer more places than they have available because not all students given an offer will be able to make the grades required to take up the spot, and some will choose not to too.
Even though the cap on numbers has been ripped up there are practical problems – such as space in lecture theatres and tutorial rooms – that could mean not everyone will get a place.
They could offer you a deferred spot for next year.
What about if I accepted an offer at my second choice but now have the grades to go to my top choice?
You are now able to get your place and swap over, but there is no guarantee of this.
It will depend on your first choice university and whether they have the space for you.
The best thing that can be done will be to contact your uni with your new grades and send them proof of your teacher predicted marks.
They will then be able to make a call on whether they have space for you.
UCAS will be meeting with schools and universities to thrash out how to make decisions after the shambolic results process.
A spokesperson said: “In response to the announcements across the UK regarding the awarding of A levels, UCAS is now working with universities, colleges and schools to support students to understand their options and achieve their place in higher education.
“For those students who were not placed with their firm (or insurance) choice university, our advice is that you don’t need to make your decision immediately.
“Once your university has your ‘Centre Assessed Grades (CAG)’ via exam bodies they can make a decision as to whether there is a place at your preferred choice.
“We will be issuing new advice for students and schools and this will be sent directly to students as soon as they are able to take a decision.
“UCAS is working with Universities UK and the education sector and whilst the decision is with the individual university, we will do everything we can to support students to use their CAGs to secure the best possible outcome.”
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Cambridge and Durham universities have offered places for next year if courses are full – but this will pile pressure on next year’s cohort to do even better if they want to reach top unis.
Mary Curnock Cook, formerly UCAS chief executive, told the BBC kids could have to take gap years because there simply isn’t enough places at universities now.
She said: “There are literally tens of thousands of students who decisions have already been made about who they accept and don’t accept.
“This change will mean that universities have to rethink completely.
“Many have filled their places rightly and now they are being asked to take in potentially tens of thousands of people moved back to their centre assessed grades.
“There will be some courses that are just physically full and may have to offer deferrals.”
However, poorer students who don’t want to take a year off will face difficulty as the job market is crashing because of the coronavirus.
And many kids thinking about travelling will be put off by quarantines and other restrictions which could limit their options.