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Next year's uni applicants severely disadvantaged

(35 Posts)
solangecham Fri 21-Aug-20 14:12:02

Big problems for 2021 university applicants - Anyone realise that with this year's A level results regrading, next year's student applicants for universities will be badly disadvantaged? Percentage of top grades (A and A stars) this year have gone up by almost half from 25.5% to 37% compared to normal trend and universities have to honour all offers. Next year, this is what applicants will face:
- Lower number of spaces as students defer from this year to next, which is being encouraged by overstretched universities (sometimes with money) especially Russell Group ones. Durham offering £2000 to defer.
- Lower number of spaces anyway as over-stretched universities are likely to compensate numbers downwards from this years bumper intake.
- Higher number of applications from foreign students than would be normal since many have taken this year off, who moreover are the preferred intake for unis since they pay higher fees.
- Unfair competition from this year’s students deferring applications because of inflated grades awarded this year.
- For yr 2021 students who would like to defer to 2022, they will face unfair competition from the year below who have received inflated GCSE results.
- All this after a four month disruption to schooling from Covid in their formative first year of A levels.

We have to wake up to this and make sure next year's students are being looked after. They matter too.

OP’s posts: |
Chameleon2003 Fri 21-Aug-20 14:18:14

I agree.
I am advising my dd to work hard - on every piece of work from now foreword as they might be used as part of her grading next year and to expect to possibly have to take a gap year to give some time for things to settle.
I'm advising her - doesn't mean she will take any notice 😂.

bravefox Fri 21-Aug-20 14:37:52

I think your point about deferment potentially causing shortage of places is fair.

Not sure I agree though about unfair comparing grades from 2020/21/22 as unis will obv be well aware of this when looking at applicants.

I suspect what we might see is an increased number of courses starting to interview candidates and introduce entrance tests as a way of leveling the playing field.

jamimmi Fri 21-Aug-20 14:57:45

Yep I would agree. Already worried about this. I think the 2021 cohort will actually be more effected than this years. They've lost a term and a half and my sons sixth form are only having them.in face to face 3 days per week next year. No open days only virtual too. It's a mess.

lifeafter50 Fri 21-Aug-20 15:25:10

I completely agree -very well made points.
I am currently writing UCAS references for my Y12s who will be applying in September and am very anxious about what their experience will be. I simply don't understand why decisions are taken in a panic without thinking through the obvious consequences.

lifeafter50 Fri 21-Aug-20 15:28:26

By the way -I think the grades are a red herring /everyone knows that 2O2O are Mickey Mouse -it's the deferment that the problem.

cakeisalwaystheanswer Fri 21-Aug-20 15:45:19

There's a thread running on higher education about this. Just trying to keep all of us Y12 parents in the same place.

mumsneedwine Fri 21-Aug-20 16:02:33

@lifeafter50 please don't do that. Calling this years grades 'Mickey Mouse' is so offensive to the students. Who had no choice in the matter. Most got a fair grade, some a bit more and a few now a bit less. But none of this is the kids fault and to denigrate their grades is mean. They've lost so much - no prom, no last day, no long summer travelling with their mates, no chance to prove themselves in exams - I hope adults will never say things like this in front of them.
Sorry that made me very cross.

Strawberrypancakes Fri 21-Aug-20 16:05:44

Mumsneedwine - a lot of people are going to see it that way though, fair or not. I’ve heard lots of examples of students being thrilled as they would not have got those grades had they actually sat the exam. You can’t really change mass opinion.

titchy Fri 21-Aug-20 16:10:33

They do have the advantage that EU student intake will plummet next year.

netflixismysidehustle Fri 21-Aug-20 16:13:49

I agree.

I have a dd applying this autumn so it's a real worry.

mumsneedwine Fri 21-Aug-20 16:24:29

@Strawberrypancakes I am assuming you haven't spent the last week with year 13s, crying because some computer told them they are not B student but actually a E. I gave CAGs that reflected my students on a good day - the only thing that has happened this year is no one has had a bad day. So they got a B not a C. The grades are based on 2 years work so not undeserved. I sincerely hope none of you say this to some of students who have been through hell, had their futures turned upside down because of this.
If public opinion says they are Mickey Mouse then I'm very sad. Poor kids having such thoughtless adults minimise their last 2 years work. My year 12s have been really supportive

cakeisalwaystheanswer Fri 21-Aug-20 16:32:33

For actual Y12 parents looking for information this is the other thread, there are links to overseas student numbers etc which show that there are twice as many overseas applicants as EU so if a lot of them defer and consequently there is an increased intake of overseas students in 2021 which will more than offset the reduced EU number.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/higher_education/4000787-Going-into-Year-13-Uni-entry-2021-have-they-been-forgotten

grey12 Fri 21-Aug-20 16:57:30

The UK system is very flawed and this shows it!

I'm from Portugal and there each course has 1 or 2 main A level exams (depending on the subject) that count 40% of a student's grade. Big weight on your shoulders let me tell you. But EVERYONE applying to that course that year has to do those same exams. Even if you are deferring you have to repeat those A levels. It levels the playing field.

With the coronavirus situation students in Portugal still had to sit one or 2 exams of their choice (we usually do about 7 exams). Grades improved and everything went smoothly.

Strawberrypancakes Fri 21-Aug-20 19:05:25

mumsneedwine

*@Strawberrypancakes* I am assuming you haven't spent the last week with year 13s, crying because some computer told them they are not B student but actually a E. I gave CAGs that reflected my students on a good day - the only thing that has happened this year is no one has had a bad day. So they got a B not a C. The grades are based on 2 years work so not undeserved. I sincerely hope none of you say this to some of students who have been through hell, had their futures turned upside down because of this.
If public opinion says they are Mickey Mouse then I'm very sad. Poor kids having such thoughtless adults minimise their last 2 years work. My year 12s have been really supportive

But the fact is, not everyone has their best day on GCSE day, do they?

mumsneedwine Fri 21-Aug-20 19:14:12

@Strawberrypancakes no. And not everyone has their last year at school cancelled due to a global pandemic. Not normal times. Just be kind when talking about years 13 & 11. They didn't ask for any if this and they've had it tough too.

Strawberrypancakes Fri 21-Aug-20 19:16:42

No one has said they haven’t. It’s been an awful year for most. But the fact remains, there are a hell of a lot of inflated grades out there being celebrated.

cptartapp Fri 21-Aug-20 19:27:18

They didn't have their last year cancelled. They lost March - June. I feel very sorry for current year 11's and 13's having been 'given' their grades and the stigma of being the 2020 cohort going forward. My nephew is amazed with his levels. They far surpassed his expectations.
I feel much worse for the current year 10's and 12's of which I have both. My year 12 will be going into year 13 on two days a week face to face. Those at the the college down the road are going back full time. The local grammar school are already back in cracking on with GCSE work. DS2 has at least two weeks to wait at his school.
Such disparity.

OddBoots Sat 22-Aug-20 08:33:07

DD will be in one day a week and the rest distance learning for y13. The college also has another struggle to mange as they can't physically fit in all the students with the GCSEs that would normally get them on to A Levels. They are also aware that not all of the students with these grades will actually cope and thrive on A Level work so A levels are not in their best interest either even if they have a GCSE certificate that suggests otherwise given that they also lost 10% of their GCSE course time. The parents of these young people are also kicking up a stink locally and blaming the college for this. I suspect they will have to let more in than then want and set them a test in the first week or two to measure potential themselves then reshuffle them on to new courses a couple of weeks into the year which will cause even more stress.

At the moment the college are focusing on working out how to handle their new intake which may be a bulge year and take extra staff that have not yet been recruited, once again leaving the students going into y13 with fewer teaching and support resources.

RufustheSniggeringReindeer Sat 22-Aug-20 09:30:28

Although i agree with the premise of the OP i do also agree with mumsneedwine

Not all grades have been inflated by any stretch of the imagination, most increases have been explained on many many threads and they aren’t mickey mouse grades either

I’m assuming people bandying that phrase around haven’t any children affected...if you do i really hope you arent telling them their results are inflated and mickey mouse

RufustheSniggeringReindeer Sat 22-Aug-20 09:35:41

Oh and if we are using anacdata (which to be fair is the only data i ever use)

The only children i know who are surprised by their grades are A level children where the algorithm gave them a higher grade

Parents are talking about Suing the local school because they aren’t Happy with the CAGS

FlyingPandas Sat 22-Aug-20 10:03:01

Agreed, @RufustheSniggeringReindeer

Y11 parent here and I don’t know a single student who got any major surprises with their results, or was awarded a grade significantly higher than what they’d been achieving before lockdown. Quite a few who’ve achieved lower grades because they weren’t working well across the two years or because they stuffed up mocks, too. Yes the media is trumpeting about grade inflation but for the vast majority the CAGs will be accurate - that just doesn’t create such interesting headlines!

I do agree though that current y10 and y12 pupils are also going to have it very tough and the whole situation is a nightmare. They need some major concessions going forwards and I really feel for them all. But parents sneering at current y11s and y13: and labelling them Mickey Mouse is not the answer. Those kids didn’t ask for any of this and the proof of their abilities will be in the pudding of their A level and university studies going forwards.

Aragog Sat 22-Aug-20 10:16:02

* But the fact remains, there are a hell of a lot of inflated grades out there being celebrated.*

And there are an awful lot who haven't. There are kids out there who have lost out on grades due to the way CAGs work. These kids didn't get their normal predicted grades - they got centre assessed grades which are very different. Not one of DD's friends got their full UCAS predicted grades, all are below them. My dd, and her friends, haven't benefited from inflated grades as you and others like to say; infact several have dropped grades due to the cag calculation when it came to a levels with high percentage nea and coursework.

They had an horrific results day with massive disappointments in some cases. Then an incredibly stressful 5 days waiting to see what would happen. I wouldn't wish that experience on people.

Every single year kids have to put up with being told 'oh the exams were harder in my day' nonsense and it's started for this year too - but even worse. Now these poor kids have to listen to sour minded people telling them that their grades mean nothing because they didn't do exams anyway.

Put yourself in the shoes of these year 13s.
My dd has had one hell of a nightmare year. Results day was the final straw. She's lost 4 close members of the family, 3 during lockdown down where we weren't able to visit, and in some cases even go to the funeral. She's has all her normal 18th birthday celebrations cancelled, like everyone she was isolated from her friends and boyfriend for weeks, she lost the normal expected 'end of school' experience, no end of school parties and holiday trips, etc. They had no choice as to whether they could do exams or not. It wasn't their decision and many kids I know feel cheated out of their chance. Whilst to older people this means nothing - go back to year 13 and being 18y and these things are important to them and mean more.

And it is perfectly possible to feel empathy and upset for the current year 13s whilst also hoping things can be sorted for the year 12s. I really empathise for the current year 12s. I think the proposals put forward so far are inadequate and unfair. I am hoping that something can be done to help. I have friends with children affected and will do what I can to support action to get the government to sort something.

But the more people who come out and spout nastiness and unfair comments about the current year 13s mean that you'll end up with less people feeling like they want to support you in your quest.

Come August next year I'm assuming you'd rather people were not coming out pulling down your kids and telling them their grades mean nothing, they didn't really miss out on anything just because school closed, etc.

You'll be wanting support and positive comments for your kids right now and in August. So why not give the current a level results kids the same!

RufustheSniggeringReindeer Sat 22-Aug-20 10:28:01

Hear hear aragog

IHeartHarryStyles Sat 22-Aug-20 10:33:00

Thank you Aragog. 100%.

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