Clearing: lower grades for overseas students.

(47 Posts)
BeginningBridge Sun 02-Aug-20 00:13:46

Ds2 will be going to uni this Autumn. I was curious about an option to 'upgrade' under the adjustment scheme.

There is only one other uni he would be interested in - Exeter. He didn't apply before because the grade requirement for the course he wants to do were (realistically) not achievable.

So I had a look at the website. There is a link for UK applicants and another for UK applicants. The revised entry requirements were BBB for UK applicants and BCC for overseas students.

I understand that unis are desperate for the fee income from overseas students but to have such a difference seems very unfair.

The normal entry requirements for this particular course is AAB- AAB.

Is this normal? Or just a reflection of the circumstances in 2020?

OP’s posts: |
SirTobyBelch Sun 02-Aug-20 01:04:52

What course is it? I can't see any listings on the Exeter web site that show A-level requirements for international students. Most international students would be expected to be applying with qualifications from their own countries. Only a few do A-levels at international schools or at boarding schools in England/Wales/NI.

MarchingFrogs Sun 02-Aug-20 01:46:06

Just looked at Art History and Visual Culture in Exeter's Clearing listings and the requirements are expressed as BBB or equivalent for Home/EU and BCC or equivalent for International.

ShadylilFocker Sun 02-Aug-20 05:08:13

Always been the way due to money.

GCAcademic Sun 02-Aug-20 06:54:51

ShadylilFocker

Always been the way due to money.

I'm not sure about that. At least it's the first time I've seen it, in twenty years of working in the sector. There has always been different availability of places for home and overseas applicants but that's because there are (or, at least, have been) quotas for each category of student. This is the first time I've seen different entry requirements for each. Most universities would avoid doing this (a) because it's unfair and (b) because it makes the university look greedy and unprincipled.

TheMarzipanDildo Sun 02-Aug-20 07:10:25

Do they have quotas? I thought universities physically couldn’t just accept more UK students to fill the gaps, because the ‘better’ ones would cream off students who would have gone to one requiring lower grades (resulting in the less well regarded unis going under). So it sounds unfair but will it actually make a difference?

Crumpets111 Sun 02-Aug-20 07:45:24

Most Unis are not actually physically returning, but doing online classes instead. Would your son be happy stay paying vast amounts of tuition fees out for this?

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GCAcademic Sun 02-Aug-20 07:56:04

Crumpets111

Most Unis are not actually physically returning, but doing online classes instead. Would your son be happy stay paying vast amounts of tuition fees out for this?

No. Most universities are moving large lecture classes online but proceeding with face to face teaching for seminars, labs, tutorials, etc. Only three universities are moving everything online:

www.timeshighereducation.com/news/uk-universities-provide-significant-person-teaching-autumn

MarchingFrogs Sun 02-Aug-20 08:01:23

For History of Art:
Birmingham is not displaying vacancies yet for Home/EU, but are for International.
Sussex is not displaying the grades needed for H/EU (tba 11th), but is for International.
York: listed separately, but same grades for both.
UEA: just says, places available for both H/EU and International under the subject in the listings, then clicking just gets normal details page.
Warwick: normal entry requirements on page accessed via courses in Clearing 2020 - course; no mention of by status.
(Quick rummage around the subject and universities DS2 is interested in for next year).

PurBal Sun 02-Aug-20 08:13:43

I would contact the university and say you've seen conflicting information on their website about the grades required and could they confirm which one is correct. I would assume a typo and if not you've called them out.

My0My Sun 02-Aug-20 09:12:55

Quite a few overseas students are educated here and will have A levels. I would assume the lower requirement for A levels would be translated to other qualifications otherwise it’s even more discriminatory. I was aware of quotas before but not differential admission qualifications. However, right now with universities in trouble financially, this seems like a marketing ploy. I would assume it depends how much their shortfall is on international students. However it doesn’t seem fair but I guess it’s to save jobs.

GCAcademic Sun 02-Aug-20 09:32:07

However, right now with universities in trouble financially, this seems like a marketing ploy

As a marketing ploy, it’s a risky one as it seems likely to cause reputational damage. The university I work at has consistently avoided making unconditional offers for that reason. But, I agree that this will be motivated by immediate financial panic.

My0My Sun 02-Aug-20 09:41:50

Would that not depend on how many courses this applies to? A handful won’t get noticed. Widespread lowering of grades would be more obvious. Redundancies and cancelling courses also causes damage. So it’s damage limitation I think.

Newgirls Sun 02-Aug-20 11:59:26

I imagine ‘reputation’ is worth less than filling places this year.

My dd got a letter this week from a place she applied to but didn’t place top 2 with a number for clearing if she changes her mind implying lower grades would be ok. I guess this happens usually too but I think there will be plenty of places avail - your ds should ring around with grades in hand and might be fine for Exeter or anywhere else

Needmoresleep Sun 02-Aug-20 12:04:34

I had assumed that even in normal times there were rough quotas for home and overseas students. How would budget otherwise. Medicine is one example where the perception is that it is tougher for an overseas student to get a place, but I am aware that other courses, eg at Imperial, enjoy a similar reputation.

Equally there are plenty on MN who say things like "Always been the way due to money."

Its inevitably complex at the moment. Different Universities will be offering overseas students different things. Some will be offering online only, with the resultant cost saving. (DD's intercalated degree is one, though the institution is not mentioned in GCAcademic's article.) Reduced grades in clearing smack of budget problems. However they may have lost some of their overseas students but be hoping to replace them from some of the cohort who had been planning to go to the US.

My0My Sun 02-Aug-20 13:39:12

Or who want to trade up.

Ellmau Sun 02-Aug-20 18:10:22

What's unusual is being so open about it, prob in a desperate attempt to get more international applicants. Normally they state one requirement but quietly accept less from internationals. I've never seen it publicised this way before.

BeginningBridge Sun 02-Aug-20 20:25:32

"I would contact the university and say you've seen conflicting information on their website about the grades required and could they confirm which one is correct. I would assume a typo and if not you've called them out."

Yes I will contact them tomorrow and query the grades (ds is working).

Glad I am not the only person who is uneasy about this approach - it does seem very unfair to effectively discriminate against UK applicants.

OP’s posts: |
Newgirls Sun 02-Aug-20 21:15:09

It does discriminate in a way against uk students but also pays for them? It certainly helps pay for some of the more expensive courses

SpanishPork Mon 03-Aug-20 01:09:26

@purbal

There isn't a disparity. There have always been different entry requirements for international students for many courses. Not only due to the higher fees they pay, but also because the government caps the number of domestic students who can be enrolled, so clearly there will be a higher criteria for those places.

Having said that, I haven't seen a difference as large as this one before and I'd think Exeter must be struggling financially due to foreign students not coming if they're dropping to BCC.

Needmoresleep Mon 03-Aug-20 08:22:02

so clearly there will be a higher criteria for those places

Not always. Lab subjects have limited places, meaning de facto quotas for both home and overseas students. Overseas applicants often favour quantitative subjects. Observation (DC were at an academic school that was part boarding so had a number of overseas students) was that some courses at some places, Imperial being one example, were more competitive for overseas students.

Arts and humanities seem to be able to go over numbers more easily. There will be benefit from having art history students from different cultural backgrounds, especially if they pay more. I also assume that there are mechanisms in place that preclude the University from "poaching" home students from other Universities where they have confirmed places. Odd, and seemingly unfair, but these are strange times.

MarchingFrogs Mon 03-Aug-20 08:29:55

Universities have had a cap of ?+5% increase on places (can't remember from which baseline) imposed already, but to stop students moving from a confirmed place to a 'better' one, the whole Adjustment / Clearing process would have to be amended or scrapped?

caringcarer Mon 03-Aug-20 08:34:38

Overseas students pay more and are allowed in on lower grades. This is standard and happens every year.

PlanDeRaccordement Mon 03-Aug-20 08:35:22

To me that means Exeter is in financial trouble. I’d be cautious about going there.

ShalomJackie Mon 03-Aug-20 08:40:48

My DSS had the benefit of acceptance at Queens Belfast on lower grades because he was paying English fee levels rather than NI lower fee levels. The higher fees subsidise the courses.

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