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need_help
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#1
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Very obscure, but a friend of my parents friends works for Warwick University as an admissions tutor. Not sure if this is of any interest to anybody but…apparently the latest government worry over university tiers is the following:

As the number of applicants with straight A grades is increasing hugely, the G5 no-longer look for straight A candidates but the best of the best. This is nothing new but what it means is that two breakaway groups of universities are now forming in addition to the G5. Everyone knows that the G5 are in a league of their own and nothing is ever going to change that, as their reputation and prestige will always attract the best candidates. This results in a large number of very able students with straight A’s at A’level ending up in the next level of universities such as Warwick, Bath, Bristol, Nottingham, York and Durham. The problem now is that there are such a large number of strong candidates and so few places that even these universities are massively oversubscribed and entrance grades are reaching their limit. These uni’s are being forced to reject very strong candidates who in turn are filtering through to the universities on the periphery of the truly ‘top tier’.

Universities such as Manchester, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Exeter and St Andrews are now experiencing a serge in high achieving applicants. This obviously means that anyone applying with the minimum ABB (or whatever) is being rejected in favour of the stronger candidates who have filtered down the ranks simple because of a lack of places. Currently the top 12-15 would have enough places to cater for all high achieving students. However, universities below this would not have the means to higher their entrance grades to cater just for the ABB-BBB candidates that have been pushed out of the top level. I can’t remember the full explanation for this but it seemed to be a political thing as universities in this band tend to be the larger ones aimed at state schools with wide reaching admissions grades. (e.g. Leads)

Apparently the government are now worried that this will truly divide universities within the UK. Some argue that a divide already exists but if this goes as expected you would end up with a league table topped by universities only admitting AAA-AAB candidates followed by the other universities as they exist today.

That was a lot of typing and I’m sure a lot of you knew this as it seems common sense – Most probably just don’t care. Just thought I would summit it as it has now come from the horse’s mouth.

Edit: No-idea what this means in terms of respect for degrees or job prospects etc...
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Mysticmin
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#2
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Which other University is in the G5? Apart from oxbridge, LSE and Imperial...
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WILKO
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#3
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(Original post by Mysticmin)
Which other University is in the G5? Apart from oxbridge, LSE and Imperial...
UCL
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~Sam~
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#4
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#4
(Original post by need_help)
Very obscure, but a friend of my parents friends works for Warwick University as an admissions tutor. Not sure if this is of any interest to anybody but…apparently the latest government worry over university tiers is the following:

As the number of applicants with straight A grades is increasing hugely, the G5 no-longer look for straight A candidates but the best of the best. This is nothing new but what it means is that two breakaway groups of universities are now forming in addition to the G5. Everyone knows that the G5 are in a league of their own and nothing is ever going to change that, as their reputation and prestige will always attract the best candidates. This results in a large number of very able students with straight A’s at A’level ending up in the next level of universities such as Warwick, Bath, Bristol, Nottingham, York and Durham. The problem now is that there are such a large number of strong candidates and so few places that even these universities are massively oversubscribed and entrance grades are reaching their limit. These uni’s are being forced to reject very strong candidates who in turn are filtering through to the universities on the periphery of the truly ‘top tier’.

Universities such as Manchester, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Exeter and St Andrews are now experiencing a serge in high achieving applicants. This obviously means that anyone applying with the minimum ABB (or whatever) is being rejected in favour of the stronger candidates who have filtered down the ranks simple because of a lack of places. Currently the top 12-15 would have enough places to cater for all high achieving students. However, universities below this would not have the means to higher their entrance grades to cater just for the ABB-BBB candidates that have been pushed out of the top level. I can’t remember the full explanation for this but it seemed to be a political thing as universities in this band tend to be the larger ones aimed at state schools with wide reaching admissions grades. (e.g. Leads)

Apparently the government are now worried that this will truly divide universities within the UK. Some argue that a divide already exists but if this goes as expected you would end up with a league table topped by universities only admitting AAA-AAB candidates followed by the other universities as they exist today.

That was a lot of typing and I’m sure a lot of you knew this as it seems common sense – Most probably just don’t care. Just thought I would summit it as it has now come from the horse’s mouth.

Edit: No-idea what this means in terms of respect for degrees or job prospects etc...
That's not good! I want to go to Exeter but I'll probably only get ABB. It looks like i'll just have to work harder!
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TheWolf
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#5
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(Original post by Mysticmin)
Which other University is in the G5? Apart from oxbridge, LSE and Imperial...
Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London and the London School of Economics are the G5, sounds pretty cool huh. Ill be applying to 4 of them next year and ill get 0 offers
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Leekey
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#6
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I think that it will be quite important for the education system to come up with a new way of distinguishing between the "high level" candidates. At the moment we can see all too many people achieving a string of top grades, which makes it almost impossible for universities to differentiate between the good and the exeptional. On a personal level I have been predicted 4 A's and I know that I am nothing special but due to the fact that there seems to be a blanket of A's in the current system, when my universities recived my application they would have seen yet another candidate predicted straight A's. I know that it is nice to get A's and all but I think that in order to improve the educational system as a whole (i.e. get the most able into the best uni's) we have to find a way of distingusing between the high level candidates (even though this would mean my grade falling through the floor ). I think the introduction of independent entrance exams for particular uni's may be the way forward. Any one else have any thoughts? :confused:
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Leekey
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#7
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#7
(Original post by TheWolf)
Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London and the London School of Economics are the G5, sounds pretty cool huh. Ill be applying to 4 of them next year and ill get 0 offers
I wouldn't worry, this time last year I thought that Notts, Manchester and Durham would laugh when they saw my application but its never quite as bad as you imagine!!! Im sure they'll be queing up for you!!!
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BossLady
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#8
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(Original post by TheWolf)
Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London and the London School of Economics are the G5, sounds pretty cool huh. Ill be applying to 4 of them next year and ill get 0 offers
I thought you wanted to do econ??
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Econ
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#9
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This information is nothing new. It's been happing for the last few years. Getting straight A's hasn't guaranteed you a place at a top 5 university for a long time. The problem now is that straight A's don't even guarantee you a place in the top 10. However, as nice as it is to be in the top 10, i think everyone should be happy with all the top universities - it's a good achievement. I think if the universities within the country do split into the G5 and 'Top Tier' compared with every other uni, it won't be all bad. At least it will bring some official differentiation back into the job market.
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TheWolf
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#10
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(Original post by BossLady)
I thought you wanted to do econ??

yea thats right why?
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TheWolf
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#11
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#11
(Original post by BossLady)
I thought you wanted to do econ??

ahh you are right in fact im just applying to 3 of the G5
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Leekey
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Econ)
This information is nothing new. It's been happing for the last few years. Getting straight A's hasn't guaranteed you a place at a top 5 university for a long time. The problem now is that straight A's don't even guarantee you a place in the top 10. However, as nice as it is to be in the top 10, i think everyone should be happy with all the top universities - it's a good achievement. I think if the universities within the country do split into the G5 and 'Top Tier' compared with every other uni, it won't be all bad. At least it will bring some official differentiation back into the job market.
I agree that gaining entry to any of the top 15 uni's is a tremendous achivement but I think that the fact that you need to get AAA-AAB to do it will mean that uni's slighly below them will get an influx of candidate with grades like AAB-ABB. Surely if this continues we will have a situation where AAA is almost the standard for the top 15 and you will need at least ABB to get you into the top 40. Im still seeing the entrance exams as the way forward!!!
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yawn1
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#13
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(Original post by Leekey)
I think that it will be quite important for the education system to come up with a new way of distinguishing between the "high level" candidates. At the moment we can see all too many people achieving a string of top grades, which makes it almost impossible for universities to differentiate between the good and the exeptional. On a personal level I have been predicted 4 A's and I know that I am nothing special but due to the fact that there seems to be a blanket of A's in the current system, when my universities recived my application they would have seen yet another candidate predicted straight A's. I know that it is nice to get A's and all but I think that in order to improve the educational system as a whole (i.e. get the most able into the best uni's) we have to find a way of distingusing between the high level candidates (even though this would mean my grade falling through the floor ). I think the introduction of independent entrance exams for particular uni's may be the way forward. Any one else have any thoughts? :confused:
You are right that having a stream of A levels at A grades is no longer a good enough indication of the most able as some schools are better at preparing their students for A levels than others.

My suggestion is that another measure of potential is a non culture, non language entrance paper which measures raw intelligence. The papers could be administered by the same exam boads covering the A level papers. The results of this paper would be available at the end of year 12 to record on the UCAS application, so it is a concrete indicator and not a prediction.
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TheWolf
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#14
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(Original post by Leekey)
I agree that gaining entry to any of the top 15 uni's is a tremendous achivement but I think that the fact that you need to get AAA-AAB to do it will mean that uni's slighly below them will get an influx of candidate with grades like AAB-ABB. Surely if this continues we will have a situation where AAA is almost the standard for the top 15 and you will need at least ABB to get you into the top 40. Im still seeing the entrance exams as the way forward!!!

Leekey ive like just got 400 posts so i am adored and respected member.

But the next step is a really big one - 1000 posts! Can you automatically transfer me to become a uk demigod if i pay 20p a year? :rolleyes:
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Leekey
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#15
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#15
(Original post by yawn1)
You are right that having a stream of A levels at A grades is no longer a good enough indication of the most able as some schools are better at preparing their students for A levels than others.

My suggestion is that another measure of potential is a non culture, non language entrance paper which measures raw intelligence. The papers could be administered by the same exam boads covering the A level papers. The results of this paper would be available at the end of year 12 to record on the UCAS application, so it is a concrete indicator and not a prediction.
Sounds like a nice logical solution. Do you mean a switch to the kind of SAT's that the USA uses for entrance exams or more of an IQ / ability to learn thing?!?
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Leekey
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#16
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(Original post by TheWolf)
Leekey ive like just got 400 posts so i am adored and respected member.

But the next step is a really big one - 1000 posts! Can you automatically transfer me to become a uk demigod if i pay 20p a year? :rolleyes:
Fraid not, I can however spend hours posting total crap for you to get your post count up...just post your account details...lol!!!
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TheWolf
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(Original post by Leekey)
Fraid not, I can however spend hours posting total crap for you to get your post count up...just post your account details...lol!!!
:eek: good idea
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yawn1
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#18
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(Original post by Leekey)
Sounds like a nice logical solution. Do you mean a switch to the kind of SAT's that the USA uses for entrance exams or more of an IQ / ability to learn thing?!?
The US uses two types of SAT's papers, one relating to the subject you are applying for and another that is based on reasoning, both verbal and non verbal.

I was thinking more along the lines of the non verbal type as these are a measure of innate intelligence that does not depend upon socio-economic factors but rather intelligence that you are born with and that can't be tutored for. We already have the measure of subject specific skills with our A levels and that is what has brought us to this competitive impasse. We now need something more.
I am against the suggestion by Clarke that the grades at A level are split into A1, A2, B1 and B2 as this will eventually bring us back to the present problem!!
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AT82
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(Original post by yawn1)
The US uses two types of SAT's papers, one relating to the subject you are applying for and another that is based on reasoning, both verbal and non verbal.

I was thinking more along the lines of the non verbal type as these are a measure of innate intelligence that does not depend upon socio-economic factors but rather intelligence that you are born with and that can't be tutored for. We already have the measure of subject specific skills with our A levels and that is what has brought us to this competitive impasse. We now need something more.
I am against the suggestion by Clarke that the grades at A level are split into A1, A2, B1 and B2 as this will eventually bring us back to the present problem!!
Yeah but you can be really intellegent but also a lazy f*cker like my dad. My dad had an offer for Cambridge University but he screwed his A levels up because he was so lazy.
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Leekey
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#20
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#20
(Original post by yawn1)
I am against the suggestion by Clarke that the grades at A level are split into A1, A2, B1 and B2 as this will eventually bring us back to the present problem!!
Yet another demonstration of Labours wonderful ability to delay dealing with a problem rather than actually finding a solution!!!

I think that the tests you suggest would be a good idea but I also think that it is important to take into account a candidates willingness to work and thier derermination / motivation level. You could be the most naturally gifted person in the world but if you are lazy then you will never achive what you are capable of!!! This is where I think the current sysyem does actually work, I've found (through A2 maths) that the more work you put in, the more you get out and so those student who are willing to work will actually get the top grades. So I think that whatever solution is implemented, it will be important to have it supplement the current system rather than actually replace it!!!
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