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UK Universities Coming as Relief for Downgraded Pupil those Rejected Chosen Courses

UK Universities Coming as Relief for Downgraded Pupil those Rejected Chosen Courses

A great relief for students as UK universities are seeking to reassure thousands of students who have have been rejected for their chosen courses because their A-level exam results were downgraded.

Pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were unable to sit public exams this year because of the pandemic and this year's grades were awarded using a controversial modelling system.

With no exams held this year, A-level grades were calculated by an algorithm based on teacher predictions and moderated according to factors such as the performance of a school and pupils’ previous attainment.

Nearly 40 per cent of final results in England were downgraded from teacher predictions. Controversially, the downgrade disproportionately affected students from deprived backgrounds, with independent schools seeing their proportion of top grades improve more than other institutions.

This prompted an angry backlash from pupils, teachers and opposition politicians — and left thousands of students at risk at losing their places at top universities.

Many students are preparing to launch appeals.

The UK’s top universities have warned students appealing against A-level downgrades that they may have to defer their places even if their grades are restored.

Oxford, Cambridge and University College London are among the prestigious Russell Group institutions that have said they may struggle to hold 2020 places for pupils who have missed their grades, despite the government asking them to be “as flexible as possible” and hold places to allow time for appeals.

In the meantime, some universities are coming forward to offer possible solutions.

The University of Oxford's Worcester and Waldham colleges have said they will honour all the provisional offers they had made to UK students, irrespective of their final grades.

Other places - such as Leicester University - say they are willing to look at mock-exam results when allocating further course places.

Experts Eddie Playfair and Catherine Sezen, senior policy managers at the Association of Colleges have been answering some of your questions about the situation.

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