Britain’s opposition Labour Party has criticised the enrolment system for universities, which currently accepts students based on predicted grades, as the actual exam results are released too late. The party suggested a renewed approach to the issue on Tuesday, August 13th.
Two days before the official A level results day on August 15th, Labour called for university enrolments to be opened only after exam results are published, saying the reliance on predicted grades should end, as that system can penalise high-achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A-Level grades in the UK are the qualification most universities look at to determine an applicant's suitability.
This week, more than 300,000 school-leavers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland await the results of their A-levels. However, most of them already hold offers based on previous achievements and grade forecasts.
Labour said a new admissions system was needed to end England’s unusual position in requiring students to apply without knowing if they have achieved the right grades, leading to more than one in five students not receiving their first choice of course.
The Guardian reported that Labour’s Education Secretary, Angela Rayner, has declared that the next Labour government would undertake an overhaul of the structure and timing of the higher education admissions system in England, to avoid relying on predicted and often inaccurate A-level grade forecasts and also to end controversial practices including the system of making students unconditional offers.
The plan to revamp the education admission system comes after research has found that around 1,000 high-achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds have their grades under-predicted each year, which can force them to wait a year to reapply to institutions.