LIVE video Q&A with Unis Minister, Michelle Donelan 3 Sep 4.30pm - Ask questions now

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BlinkyBill
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Following on from TSR's open letter on behalf of students, we've been squirrelling away behind the scenes to get you guys the clarity you need.

In addition to producing articles and FAQ threads based on info we're gathering from UCAS, Ofqual and the Department for Education (coming soon), we've also been speaking to key decision-makers about coming on TSR and talk directly to you guys.

On Thursday, 3rd of September at 4.30pm, we'll be streaming a LIVE video Q&A with Michelle Donelan, the Universities Minister.

Given the Minister's focus, we're anticipating she'll be more able to answer questions relating to Years 12s, 13s and current uni students. For those of you in other year levels, we're continuing to work on getting others to answer questions more specific to you.

You guys know how busy these Q&As can be, so we'll try and get to as many questions as humanly possible. Just so you know, we read every single question, and sometimes if there's lots of people asking the same thing, we'll ask a combined question.

The stream will appear at the top of this exact thread at 4.30pm on Thursday.

So what questions do you have for the government and the Unis Minister specifically?

(Pro-tip, if you want a notification when the event starts on Thursday, just post in here and you'll be added to the list of everyone we'll remind just before it starts).
EDIT: In the meantime, the Department for Education have responded to our open letter by providing answers to some of the more common questions we've been seeing asked on TSR. You can read them here.


If you want to skip through to find the questions most relevant to you then have a look at which questions we asked here:

1. Do you think the handling of exam grades this summer was acceptable? 2:50 - SarcAndSpark

2. Why was action not taken to help private candidates who weren't given grades? We were assured that universities would be flexible but they clearly weren't -- I was rejected for having A*AB for an offer of AAA. I can't afford to take another gap year, and the caps you initially put on admission numbers meant that universities couldn't be flexible. For many of us, we re-took to get into a specific university and have now wasted a year. What action will the government take to help us? 4:19 - o0MSK0o

3. Will there be any further changes to the A-level exams? We know there have been some proposed changes but not much has changed, especially for the STEM subjects? 6:33

4. How is fairness for new Year 13’s students going to be ensured - given they’ve had disrupted schooling and will face extra competition from 2020 applicants, in some cases with inflated CAG grades applying for the same courses. 10:42

5. Is there going to be a reconsideration on how universities accept students next year? The method we saw this year has not worked in terms of bridging inequalities, would you direct universities to consider more contextual offers and lower grades based on the fact many of us have not had extra classroom time? 13:33 - 2_versions

6. How do you expect some students to manage: Oxbridge/Medicine deadline on 15th October, personal statements for which we have not prepared/been guided, University Admissions exams across the 3 months and let's not forget A Level mock exams in early-mid November. We Year 12s(now Year 13s) have been quietly suffering in the background for quite some time now, we need clarification, we need extended deadlines! Will you be looking at discussing with UCAS extending Oxbridge/Medicine/Dentistry deadlines. 15:20

7. Given that universities this year will have an overflow of medical, dentistry and vet students and many such students have been asked to defer (even with the caps lifted for 2020 places) will you keep the caps lifted for 2021 and 2022 entry? Or will those entering years 12 and 13 this year be disadvantaged by having fewer places available to them at each university due to overflow from previous years. 17:02

8. Will it be much harder to get a university place next year in 2021, due to the deferred places of applicants this year? 18:33 @AminahT
9. What steps are being taken to mitigate the risks of Covid outbreaks as freshers arrive at uni in September/October? 19:56

10. Why should my tuition fees be the same, if learning is being provided online. 22:47

11. I am currently in the second year of my degree, about to go onto my third year. I was doing very well until the pandemic hit. I had to take two exams and two assignments at home. For a number of reasons, this led to me getting bad grades on these. second year counts towards my overall grade. What can be done for someone like me now? 24:57 - Anon

12. What, if any, action will the government be taking to support graduates trying to find jobs in the post-coronavirus economic climate? 27:17CatusStarbright

13. Will people with pre-settled status be eligible for student finance to start a course on the 2021/2022 academic year – if yes would it be possible for them to apply for a student loan for the whole course then? 28:54

14. What is the Government doing about the mental health crisis among young people? 30:44studentdad

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Last edited by Manooka; 2 weeks ago
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josie71202
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(Original post by BlinkyBill)
Following on from TSR's open letter on behalf of students, we've been squirrelling away behind the scenes to get you guys the clarity you need.

In addition to producing articles and FAQ threads based on info we're gathering from UCAS, Ofqual and the Department for Education (coming soon), we've also been speaking to key decision-makers about coming on TSR and talk directly to you guys.

On Thursday, 3rd of September at 4.30pm, we'll be streaming a LIVE video Q&A with Michelle Donelan, the Universities Minister.

Given the Minister's focus, we're anticipating she'll be more able to answer questions relating to Years 12s, 13s and current uni students. For those of you in other year levels, we're continuing to work on getting others to answer questions more specific to you.

You guys know how busy these Q&As can be, so we'll try and get to as many questions as humanly possible. Just so you know, we read every single question, and sometimes if there's lots of people asking the same thing, we'll ask a combined question.

The stream will appear at the top of this exact thread at 4.30pm on Thursday.

So what questions do you have for the government and the Unis Minister specifically?

(Pro-tip, if you want a notification when the event starts on Thursday, just post in here and you'll be added to the list of everyone we'll remind just before it starts).
Yes please I'd love to be notified
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5hyl33n
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Will there be any further changes to the A-Level exams? We know there have been some proposed changes but not much has changed, especially for the STEM subjects.

Thanks!
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laurawatt
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I have a couple :lol:

> If everyone is unable to sit the summer 2021 exams, will a non-“mutant” algorithm be developed? (If an algorithm was to be used again, would it be changed from this years one?)

> Are socially distant exams something you would consider? (If Covid-19 is still at large in May-June)

> As there was a massive grade inflation this year, will applicants who received their results in 2020 be considered on equal terms to the Y12s applying this year for the first time?
Last edited by laurawatt; 3 weeks ago
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josie71202
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how are we gonna get university places when they'll be filled by 2020 deferrals who'll have inflated grades. If we defer we'll be up against 2022 students who have inflated GCSE results
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2_versions
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University Minister:
Is there going to be a reconsideration on how you accept students next year considering a lot of students might not be given exam opportunities (depending on what Gov decide to do) and the method we saw this year has not worked in terms of bridging inequalities? Perhaps considering more contextual offers and lower grades based on the fact many of us have not had extra classroom time?

How are we dealing with the placement issues caused by many students not being able to go to university this year? Will there be focuses on domestic students over international next year in terms of placements, perhaps with different grade requirements for both groups?
(that's not supposed to be a nationalist type question, I just think there's a lot of people next year who will apply domestically as well as internationally which could cause more people to get rejected from their chosen universities)

edit: thank you BlinkyBill and everyone else working at TSR for making this happen, this must be a lot of stress getting a hold of these people, and we're all grateful
Last edited by 2_versions; 3 weeks ago
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Becca216
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I second all the comments made above about what is being done for 2021 entrants, but just to add - Are you planning to put a cap on student numbers that unis can intake? We know you originally had it this year but then removed it due to the whole grades mess.....
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yzanne
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Do you think it's likely that we'll be able to visit home once we've migrated to uni? Perhaps not for international students, but for home students what's the likelihood that we won't be allowed to?
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Thisismyunitsr
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What do you plan to do for the long term unemployed and people who are not capable of going to university?
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Aminah T
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Will it be much harder to get a university place next year in 2021, due to the deferred places of applicants from this year? :confused:

Will applicants unable to find work experiences when applying for 2021 entry due to COVID be disadvantaged? 🤷

What do you propose to do for those taking A Levels next year (in 2021)?
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o0MSK0o
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Why was action not taken to help private candidates who weren't given grades? We were assured that universities would be flexible but they clearly weren't -- I was rejected for having A*AB for an offer of AAA. I can't afford to take another gap year, and the caps you initially put on admission numbers meant that universities couldn't be flexible.

For many of us, we re-took to get into a specific university and have now wasted a year. What action will the government take to help us?
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LegsEleven17
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What support will there be for A levels like PE, Drama, Dance etc. where all the practical modules will need to be done in a very short space of time alongside all the theory knowledge. How can we even begin to do said coursework without breaking social distancing rules?
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barnetlad
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Would you accept the post of Secretary of State for Education if it were offered to you?
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hallzhuu
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(Original post by josie71202)
how are we gonna get university places when they'll be filled by 2020 deferrals who'll have inflated grades. If we defer we'll be up against 2022 students who have inflated GCSE results
Same question
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SarcAndSpark
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How is fairness for new Y13 students going to be ensured- given they've had disrupted schooling and will face extra competition from 2020 applicants, in some cases with inflated CAG grades applying for the same courses?

What advice does she have for someone who's CAGs meet their offer, but the uni won't give them a place as the course is now full?

Does she think the handling of exam grades this summer was acceptable?

What steps are being taken to mitigate the risks of Covid outbreaks as freshers arrive at uni in September/October?
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hallzhuu
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(Original post by BlinkyBill)
Following on from TSR's open letter on behalf of students, we've been squirrelling away behind the scenes to get you guys the clarity you need.

In addition to producing articles and FAQ threads based on info we're gathering from UCAS, Ofqual and the Department for Education (coming soon), we've also been speaking to key decision-makers about coming on TSR and talk directly to you guys.

On Thursday, 3rd of September at 4.30pm, we'll be streaming a LIVE video Q&A with Michelle Donelan, the Universities Minister.

Given the Minister's focus, we're anticipating she'll be more able to answer questions relating to Years 12s, 13s and current uni students. For those of you in other year levels, we're continuing to work on getting others to answer questions more specific to you.

You guys know how busy these Q&As can be, so we'll try and get to as many questions as humanly possible. Just so you know, we read every single question, and sometimes if there's lots of people asking the same thing, we'll ask a combined question.

The stream will appear at the top of this exact thread at 4.30pm on Thursday.

So what questions do you have for the government and the Unis Minister specifically?

(Pro-tip, if you want a notification when the event starts on Thursday, just post in here and you'll be added to the list of everyone we'll remind just before it starts).
Can the live event be replayed? I am an international student and the event happens at mid-night
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josie71202
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(Original post by hallzhuu)
Can the live event be replayed? I am an international student and the event happens at mid-night
most likely they'll put a summary here
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JatBains
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will there be caps for dentistry/medicine for 2021 and beyond? Or will it stay the same as 2020?
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BlinkyBill
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(Original post by hallzhuu)
Can the live event be replayed? I am an international student and the event happens at mid-night
(Original post by josie71202)
most likely they'll put a summary here
Yes indeed! The video will stay available here, and we usually do a summary article too.
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Roo567
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(Original post by BlinkyBill)
Following on from TSR's open letter on behalf of students, we've been squirrelling away behind the scenes to get you guys the clarity you need.

In addition to producing articles and FAQ threads based on info we're gathering from UCAS, Ofqual and the Department for Education (coming soon), we've also been speaking to key decision-makers about coming on TSR and talk directly to you guys.

On Thursday, 3rd of September at 4.30pm, we'll be streaming a LIVE video Q&A with Michelle Donelan, the Universities Minister.

Given the Minister's focus, we're anticipating she'll be more able to answer questions relating to Years 12s, 13s and current uni students. For those of you in other year levels, we're continuing to work on getting others to answer questions more specific to you.

You guys know how busy these Q&As can be, so we'll try and get to as many questions as humanly possible. Just so you know, we read every single question, and sometimes if there's lots of people asking the same thing, we'll ask a combined question.

The stream will appear at the top of this exact thread at 4.30pm on Thursday.

So what questions do you have for the government and the Unis Minister specifically?

(Pro-tip, if you want a notification when the event starts on Thursday, just post in here and you'll be added to the list of everyone we'll remind just before it starts).
I would like to be notified, this seems really interesting.
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