UCAS has foreshadowed recommendations from its upcoming review, outlining that university and college offers should be based on students’ actual grades, rather than teachers’ predictions.
The call for reform comes after this year’s A-levels shone a light on the higher education admissions process and whether it is fair for all young people, regardless of their background or where they go to school.
This renewed focus on admissions is important for improving equality in the sector as research shows that predicted grades are open to inaccuracies – particularly when it comes to determining the future of disadvantaged young people.
Evidence suggests a tendency towards over-predicting grades. However, it also shows that high-achieving students from low socio-economic backgrounds tend to receive lower predicted grades than those from high socio-economic backgrounds. As do high-achieving students from state schools compared to independent schools.
TASO recognises the challenges faced by the sector in response to a potential reform to the admissions process, particularly during this difficult time.
However, we see this as a unique opportunity to future fit the system to ensure access to higher education is fair for all young people.
- For background on the research mentioned in this article: Predicted grades – what do we know, and why does it matter? By Dr. Gill Wyness
- For more on the UCAS announcement: UCAS maps reforms of higher education admissions