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MPs to probe unconditional offers from universities watch

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    (Original post by CoolCavy)
    Well I personally didn't slack off revision. Was given an unconditional cos I did well at the interview and then got AAA*. There is this annoying stigma that everyone who gets unconditional just coasts the rest of the year. It was also my favourite uni in the first place. I got unconditional from another uni but that wouldn't have made me want to go there since I didn't like it. Most of the pressure to slack off or whatever comes from other students 'oh you have an unconditional you don't even need to be here' 'why are you stressed' etc etc
    On the otherhand ik someone who got an unconditional and gave up on revision. The usual offer would've been ABB. He ended getting ADE or something. And he said he only firmed that uni because it was the only one who gave him an unconditional. Otherwise he was going to try get grades for Chemistry at Manchester. The A was in the only subject he tried in (chemistry).

    A bunch of similar cases happened at my sixth form.

    My point is don't think anecdotes are good here. There will be others with opposite experiences

    I suppose statistics will be available soon though
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    It's worth linking the SPA (Supporting Professionalism in Admissions - an independent body that produced good practice for universities based on the Schwarz report on fair admissions practices) statement on unconditional offer making
    https://www.spa.ac.uk/sites/default/...-statement.pdf

    And pointing out that in 2015 the government (based on a review by UCAS) shifted funding for SPA from universities and the funding councils to UCAS - and that UCAS closed SPA last year
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    I got 4/5 unconditional offers (even though they weren't highly ranked universities). They say its suppose to help reduce the stress/pressure but I still pushed myself to work hard to get good grades. It worked because I ended up getting D*D*D*

    However, I do agree some people end up slacking on their work when they receive unconditional offers. E.g. some girls in my class worked well in year 12 so they got unconditional offers but then ended up slacking on work in year 13 and only aimed for passes in their coursework.

    I do think they should reduced the amount of unconditional offers they're giving out.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    I'd need more data and analysis to see the effects on the students and sector. This is what happens when you get a quasi market though.
    See PQ's post!

    And the chart below shows these offers are increasingly made to "good" (i.e. BBB to AAB) rather than the "outstanding" A* students.

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    So it's universities outside the "top-tier" fighting over bums on seats... i.e. Birmingham, Nottingham...
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    (Original post by lucabrasi98)
    On the otherhand ik someone who got an unconditional and gave up on revision. The usual offer would've been ABB. He ended getting ADE or something. And he said he only firmed that uni because it was the only one who gave him an unconditional. Otherwise he was going to try get grades for Chemistry at Manchester. The A was in the only subject he tried in (chemistry).

    A bunch of similar cases happened at my sixth form.

    My point is don't think anecdotes are good here. There will be others with opposite experiences

    I suppose statistics will be available soon though
    of course there will be opposite experiences. I gave mine because everyone always ****s on unconditionals for making people lazy and get crap grades. I'm giving my example to show that isn't always the case.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Unless you show me that its against students interests to accept an unconditional as they perform significantly less well then I cant say im fussed. .
    That's exactly what the probe is attempting to do. But some are so against the idea of banishing unconditional offers that they don't even want the government to research it lol.

    Of course, there is still a chance they'll investigate and find it doesn't have much effect. Who knows
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    AS levels are gone... GCSEs probably should go (and I expect they will be axed sooner or later), if that happens then unis are going to have to get used to judging applicants on references and predicted grades alone, will they be able to do that under the current system?



    I agree. The marketization of higher education and tying university funding directly to student numbers was a terrible idea, but unfortunately nothing will be done about it so long as the Tories are in power.
    I agree that GCSEs should go, countless other education systems don't have exams at 16 so I don't understand the need in the UK. However, I do this this would mean we'd need a different system as predicted grades are sometimes useless.

    I know there's a few teachers at my school who refuse to predict A*s purely because "universities aren't supposed to ask for them". Similarly, there are countless students predicted straight A*s when I doubt that that many actually achieve it in their exams (I'd actually be interested to see the results on that).

    It would have made much more sense to axe GCSEs and keep AS Levels as a form of achievement indicators in this sense
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    AS levels are gone... GCSEs probably should go (and I expect they will be axed sooner or later), if that happens then unis are going to have to get used to judging applicants on references and predicted grades alone, will they be able to do that under the current system?
    Why would GCSEs be axed?

    Actually I think if there was a significant change with anything it's more likely university applications wouldn't start until after A-level (or whatever) exam results are received. So all offers would be unconditional.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    See PQ's post!

    And the chart below shows these offers are increasingly made to "good" (i.e. BBB to AAB) rather than the "outstanding" A* students.

    Name:  Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 13.42.59.jpg
Views: 62
Size:  197.9 KB


    So it's universities outside the "top-tier" fighting over bums on seats... i.e. Birmingham, Nottingham...
    I dont have a problem with it though. Just competition. I cant see whats wrong in fighting for bums on seats? As I keep saying Id prefer some better student education in choosing so they make a more balanced choice, but am ambivalent abut them making unconditionals.
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    (Original post by JennLousie)
    Similarly, there are countless students predicted straight A*s when I doubt that that many actually achieve it in their exams (I'd actually be interested to see the results on that).
    ~40% of applicants predicted A*A*A* achieved that
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)

    Actually I think if there was a significant change with anything it's more likely university applications wouldn't start until after A-level (or whatever) exam results are received. So all offers would be unconditional.
    Tbh doing it that way seems a lot more logical. Then you dont get people aiming for universities out of their reach and coming down to earth on results day. I suppose the only issue with that is what would you do in the year that it took to apply, unless of course they streamlined the process somehow to condense it to a few months :dontknow:
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    (Original post by PQ)
    ~40% of applicants predicted A*A*A* achieved that
    Interesting! That's higher than I expected, but I guess it still shows that predicted grades aren't particularly accurate
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    (Original post by JennLousie)
    I know there's a few teachers at my school who refuse to predict A*s purely because "universities aren't supposed to ask for them". Similarly, there are countless students predicted straight A*s when I doubt that that many actually achieve it in their exams (I'd actually be interested to see the results on that).
    Most predictions are wrong, and usually too optimistic.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-38223432

    But universities know this and often allow a one or two grade miss on results day.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Why would GCSEs be axed?

    Actually I think if there was a significant change with anything it's more likely university applications wouldn't start until after A-level (or whatever) exam results are received.
    Because they serve no purpose and needlessly cause stress and anxiety to students? Once you have a level 3 qualification, which everybody does (or will do) now that students have to stay in school until they're 18, GCSEs become an irrelevance. I can't think of any country other than the UK which sets national examinations two years before students leave school.

    That'd be a good change in my view.
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    (Original post by CoolCavy)
    Tbh doing it that way seems a lot more logical. Then you dont get people aiming for universities out of their reach and coming down to earth on results day. I suppose the only issue with that is what would you do in the year that it took to apply, unless of course they streamlined the process somehow to condense it to a few months :dontknow:
    Yes partly a streamlined process and maybe bringing exams forward by a month or so. :beard:
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    (Original post by CoolCavy)
    Tbh doing it that way seems a lot more logical. Then you dont get people aiming for universities out of their reach and coming down to earth on results day. I suppose the only issue with that is what would you do in the year that it took to apply, unless of course they streamlined the process somehow to condense it to a few months :dontknow:
    That plan got shelved when the coalition took power https://www.ucas.com/file/956/download?token=y8EovXLo

    The introduction of Extra and Adjustment was UCAS testing the waters in a move to post qualification application - but it would require schools to agree to earlier exams, exam boards to mark and release results quicker and universities (including scotland) to shift their term dates back a little.

    There's an argument that you could manage a PQA system easily by shifting all universities to calendar years (starting in January) instead of academic years (starting in Autumn).
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Yes partly a streamlined process and maybe bringing exams forward by a month or so. :beard:
    (Original post by PQ)
    That plan got shelved when the coalition took power https://www.ucas.com/file/956/download?token=y8EovXLo

    The introduction of Extra and Adjustment was UCAS testing the waters in a move to post qualification application - but it would require schools to agree to earlier exams, exam boards to mark and release results quicker and universities (including scotland) to shift their term dates back a little.

    There's an argument that you could manage a PQA system easily by shifting all universities to calendar years (starting in January) instead of academic years (starting in Autumn).
    hm interesting :beard: thanks guys i learned something new
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Because they serve no purpose and needlessly cause stress and anxiety to students? Once you have a level 3 qualification, which everybody does (or will do) now that students have to stay in school until they're 18, GCSEs become an irrelevance. I can't think of any country other than the UK which sets national examinations two years before students leave school.
    Hmmm... interesting. Yes I see where you're coming from.

    So would you have entrance exams for Sixth Forms?
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Most predictions are wrong, and usually too optimistic.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-38223432

    But universities know this and often allow a one or two grade miss on results day.
    Obviously because theres a lot of pressure on to predict higher. theres a big inconsistency between predictions from some schools and some being much more generous than others.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Hmmm... interesting. Yes I see where you're coming from.

    So would you have entrance exams for Sixth Forms?
    Ew no. Ideally, I would like no exams at all until the final year of high school (and replace A levels with something like the IB or Abitur). Although, I can see the argument for some kind of exam in Year 9 (but not SATs / national exams) so teachers can gauge pupils' strengths and weaknesses.
 
 
 
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