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Are Scottish students disadvantaged applying to English universities?

Poll

Do you think Scottish Students are disadvantaged applying to English universities?

Disregarding fees, how difficult do you think it is to get into a English university with a Scottish education?
Very few English universities understand the Scottish education system with many thinking that AAA at advanced higher is only equivalent to AAA at A-level.

I imagine this is because many English universities receive very little if any Scottish applicants because:

a) In my experience of fifth and sixth year in Scotland, no-one was familiar with any English universities apart from Oxford and Cambridge; and

b) There was no need to apply to England, it'd have been a waste of money and a long way from home.

I don't think that Scottish students are disadvantaged in applying to Oxford or Cambridge though given that I've heard of some very generous offers being made to Advanced Higher pupils.
Reply 2
English universities don't realise that Advanced Highers are more difficult than A-Levels.
Reply 3
Original post by NR09
English universities don't realise that Advanced Highers are more difficult than A-Levels.


Are Advanced highers the scottish version of A-levels? And how can you make that statement unless you've experienced both?
Reply 4
Original post by Ryan44
Are Advanced highers the scottish version of A-levels? And how can you make that statement unless you've experienced both?


No, I have been told by teachers that they are a step above A-Levels. The number of people who take Advanced Highers is much less than the number of people who take A-Levels (per capita). To give an example, there are about 1000 people at my high school (and my school is in the top 10 performing state schools in Scotland) yet there was only 5 people who took Advanced English. 4 people took Advanced Histrory. Compare that to the number of people from your school who took these subjects at A-Level.
(edited 11 years ago)
Reply 5
I'd say yes, but it depends what you're going to study.The main problem is that different English Unis have different ideas about the level that Advanced Higher is.

I was going to study Biomed and I looked at some English/Welsh Unis (Sunderland and Bangor mainly) and all the English/Welsh unis asked for A's or B's at advanced higher, which I definitely wasn't going to achieve.

But my sister is (hopefully) going to study Community Drama at LIPA and the requirements she was given was 2 C's at advanced higher after her interview and audition. (I really hope she gets it, because I know she'll definitely enjoy it.)
Reply 6
Original post by Ryan44
Are Advanced highers the scottish version of A-levels? And how can you make that statement unless you've experienced both?



This is know because Oxford Uni did a study of this, the results were published in the TES and Oxbridge application process acknowledges this as well.
Reply 7
I should probably have realized that most of the TSR population doesn't know how the Scottish system works.

A little explanation: On the face of it, they are quite similar. After Standard Grades(GCSEs) in 4th year, you go into 5th year where you typically do 5 subjects. English and Maths are strongly advised to be taken here and its tends to be school policy to do so. If a student is not capable of passing a higher then they would normally drop down to intermediate 2 level with a view to doing the higher in 6th year. AAAA at higher will give you an unconditional to about anything in scotland (not medicine, dentistry or vet school and maybe a few certain very popular other subjects)
In 6th year, up to 3 advanced highers are normally taken for people hoping to go to university. These tend to cover similar material to A-level but all include a large investigation/dissertation which counts for about 20-40% of your overall grade (apart from maths, thats completely based on a 3 hour exam.) The opportunity to take more highers this year exists too. While most english universities ask for atleast AAB at advanced higher, most students don't take 3 and of those who do very few will achieve this. Hope this makes things slightly clearer. Also, a side note, all the courses are typically 1 year long with an exam in May/June rather than the more modular system at A-level.
Reply 8
Original post by Smack
Very few English universities understand the Scottish education system with many thinking that AAA at advanced higher is only equivalent to AAA at A-level.

I imagine this is because many English universities receive very little if any Scottish applicants because:

a) In my experience of fifth and sixth year in Scotland, no-one was familiar with any English universities apart from Oxford and Cambridge; and

b) There was no need to apply to England, it'd have been a waste of money and a long way from home.

I don't think that Scottish students are disadvantaged in applying to Oxford or Cambridge though given that I've heard of some very generous offers being made to Advanced Higher pupils.





Statistically , only 14% of Scottish applicants to Cambridge re accepted against a the area with the smallest succesful percentage in England which was 24%.
Reply 9
Also worth noting that many schools don't offer many Advanced Highers at all due to teacher shortages, so it could be difficult for those hoping to apply to English universities to get the right combination of Advanced Highers. My school did quite well in providing for those who wanted to take them, but I can see how it would be harder in a smaller school.
Yes an no. As pointed out many english unis have no idea about some scottish qualifications, especially higher education certificates and diplomas. When my cousin applied to uni after his HND all the "good" scottish unis he applied to rejected him, but the "good" english ones gave him an offer and he ended up going to a better university than he otherwise would have.

On the other hand I've heard of people being offered conditions for Advanced highers at AAA when the A-level equivelant was AAB, despite AH and A2 being roughly then same (some arguing AH is harder).
Reply 11
Well I am a Scottish student and have an unconditional for York. I had AAAAB from higher and predicted BBC at Ah. So they dont all require Advanced highers

This was posted from The Student Room's Android App
Original post by lorri94
Well I am a Scottish student and have an unconditional for York. I had AAAAB from higher and predicted BBC at Ah. So they dont all require Advanced highers

This was posted from The Student Room's Android App


Sorry to resurrect a dead thread, (:colondollar:) but what subject did you apply for?
Original post by qno2
Disregarding fees, how difficult do you think it is to get into a English university with a Scottish education?


It depends on the course
For STEM subjects like mathematics, physics, and comp sci it's pretty hard.
For Oxbridge admissions assessments, most of the contents are not covered in Scottish education. The A-level maths curriculum covers a lot of stuff not in Advanced Higher and a lot of AS knowledge (required for admissions assessments) isn't even seen until Advanced Higher.
For STEP 3 (A Level further maths knowledge) the stuff you need to know is non-existent in the SQA curriculum so you would have to self-learn a whole course.

Top English unis usually look at grade bands (A1 or A2) which can be confusing to Scottish because Scottish unis don't care about bands.

Other than that, there's not really a point in going to England if you can get SAAS (first degree paid for you)
Reply 14
My daughters have both attended an English uni as a Scottish student and my son will also be choosing an English uni. None of them have had any issues getting into an English uni and one has graduated with her masters now and the other about to graduate.

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