University admissions will return to a “more predictable” cycle this summer after a two-year pandemic hiatus, the head of the UK’s university admissions service said as students prepare to receive their results. A-level results this week.
Clare Marchant, chief executive of UCAS, said in an interview with the Financial Times that a near-record number of students in England and Wales will receive their first choice university placement on Thursday. when A-level results are announced.
The comments sought to reassure students who were bracing for lower scores last year after official exams returned for the first time since the start of the pandemic, and educators find the way to solve school-level inflation of recent years.
The expected drop in the top scores awarded this year has raised concerns that many young people could miss out on their top school choice as a result of the admissions process becoming increasingly difficult. more competitive.
During the course of the course, official school exams were replaced by teacher assessments, which resulted in many students achieving the highest AC scores. This year, however, when exams return, the level of achievement is expected to drop again.
University It is also expected to receive a lower percentage of applicants this fall to stabilize student numbers following a sharp increase in admissions last year.
Marchant acknowledged the “unpredictability” that students feel every year “because they won’t necessarily get a grade”. However, she describes this year’s admissions as “more precise”, with universities making course decisions “before results date”, with many taking a “more cautious” approach and make less suggestions.
“Even if [students have] miss [their offer] Marchant said.
“We expect the vast majority of students to wake up and choose their first college or university. . . That would be a record or near record, definitely more than a normal year,” she added.
She added that the entry cycle has returned with a “more predictable summer”.
According to UCAS, a record number of students applied to college this year, with a near-record number currently holding an offer of admission at an institution that requires the highest scores.
However, in the most competitive courses, such as medicine and dentistry, offer rates have dropped. About 15.6% of applications received offers compared with 20.4% in 2021, while for providers with higher fees this has dropped from 60.5% last year to 60.5% last year. 55.1%.
However, some education experts have warned that lower overall results will mean more students don’t get the scores required to receive their first choice offer.
Alan Smithers, director of the Center for Education and Employment Studies at the University of Buckingham, on Friday said 40,000 students could miss out on their top choice.
He estimates that 35% of applicants will receive an A* or A this year, compared with 44.8% of participants in 2021. His prediction is based on plans by exam regulator Ofqual to place the score distribution in the midpoint between the results from last year and those from 2019.
The Russell Group, an organization representing the UK’s top universities, said the admissions round would be “competitive”.
“Our universities will work hard to give as many people the opportunity to study with them as possible, while maintaining a high-quality experience for students,” it said.