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MPs to probe unconditional offers from universities watch

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    (Original post by MaskOfKeaton)
    Or maybe the students are just fundamentally doing better...
    Yes, that makes sense, doesn't it? The intelligence and work ethic of the students is improving so rapidly, and the skill of the teaching staff along with it, that in ten years time universities will be turning out the most highly qualified and sharpest master race yet seen.

    I wonder whether employers will stop complaining that graduates are neither literate nor numerate enough though.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    It'll be interesting to see Birmingham make that case in their next TEF
    It would destroy their reputation in an instant if they did.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    There is your answer, and a cynical strategy for keeping market share: Steal the candidates from more reputable universities by using UiF offers and get around the likely reputational problems by making sure everyone gets a first, even if the quality of the intake has been compromised.

    I wonder how long-lasting this will be.
    Well Birmingham is a pretty reputable university anyway (much more respected outside TSR in my experience, which seems to have this obsession with Maths and banking). Generally there's not much advantage in going to a top 20 uni over another top 20 unless it's Oxbridge and or the good London unis, so Birmingham isn't a bad choice after those unis.
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    (Original post by MaskOfKeaton)
    Well Birmingham is a pretty reputable university anyway (much more respected outside TSR in my experience, which seems to have this obsession with Maths and banking). Generally there's not much advantage in going to a top 20 uni over another top 20 unless it's Oxbridge and or the good London unis, so Birmingham isn't a bad choice after those unis, especially for people who want to live in big cities.
    This is the most meaningful league table for UK universities. Birmingham performs woefully:

    http://duckdensity.org.uk/uni_index
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    (Original post by MaskOfKeaton)
    Well Birmingham is a pretty reputable university anyway
    This isn't disputed (well not by anyone with any sense...).

    What is at issue is their marketing strategy.
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    Birmingham are pretty desperate, they sent me a Christmas card...
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    I would say that as a Scottish student, unconditionals are a great thing. Afternoon working your butt off in fifth year at yours highers it's great when a uni gives you an unconditional, I know someone who left straight after her highers and went to uni. So I do see why they can make students slack but tbh that's their own decision, if they're good enough then I think it's the right thing to do.
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    (Original post by alexandra1999)
    I would say that as a Scottish student, unconditionals are a great thing. Afternoon working your butt off in fifth year at yours highers it's great when a uni gives you an unconditional, I know someone who left straight after her highers and went to uni. So I do see why they can make students slack but tbh that's their own decision, if they're good enough then I think it's the right thing to do.
    Good point, but it's different in the case of Scottish universities where they consider Highers to be an appropriate entry qualification for university, and therefore unconditionals are given out because students have actually already met the requirements. English unis by comparison only accept A-levels/equivalent as suitable entry qualifications, so it often seems unjustified for them to hand out unconditionals only based on students' predictions before they've got their grades.
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    (Original post by alexandra1999)
    I would say that as a Scottish student, unconditionals are a great thing.
    Students in Scotland start university at a less advanced level of education, and typically a year younger, than they do in England. The two are not comparable.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Students in Scotland start university at a less advanced level of education, and typically a year younger, than they do in England. The two are not comparable.
    A year younger? They don't. I'll be 18 when I start uni and two of my cousins went through A-levels in Wales, both started uni at 18. Most of my friends will be 18 too, usually a Scottish student is only 17/16 if they leave straight after fifth year, which most don't.
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    (Original post by alexandra1999)
    A year younger? They don't. I'll be 18 when I start uni and two of my cousins went through A-levels in Wales, both started uni at 18. Most of my friends will be 18 too, usually a Scottish student is only 17/16 if they leave straight after fifth year, which most don't.
    That they choose not to is up to them. The point is they can and the entry requirement is being assessed as an attainment at the end of year twelve, not year thirteen.
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    If unconditional offers were so awful why do US universities give them almost exclusively? US application departments put in an enormous amount of work choosing their students compared to the UK. They interview (in person or on skype), they look at the the last four years of grades (GPAs) and consider the candidate's extra curricular activities and other interests and successes. The grade they get in their final exams becomes ultimately pretty irrelevant, and rightly so. I think the system needs to be reviewed and universities allowed to make their own criteria for what constitutes a good student.
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    (Original post by PJDK)
    why do US universities give them almost exclusively?
    For the obvious and simple reason that US universities are considering known levels of attainment against the required benchmark. Unconditional offers in England and Wales, in the context being discussed here, are not.
 
 
 
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