There will probably be an enormous rise in candidates failing to safe locations on programs at their first-preference universities after they obtain their examination outcomes, the Workplace for College students (OfS) has predicted.
Examination boards have been ordered by Ofqual to crack down on what the federal government division deems to be grade inflation on account of pupils utilizing predicted grades given by academics for the 2 years that exams had been cancelled through the Covid pandemic.
Even the very best achievers might wrestle once they obtain their A-level outcomes on Thursday, the OfS stated.
Pupils who’ve taken their A-levels for the primary time this 12 months have by no means sat nationwide exams throughout their secondary faculty or faculty training, as their GCSEs had been graded in 2020 – the primary 12 months of the pandemic.
One evaluation predicts that as many as 40,000 college students are anticipated to overlook out on their most popular locations on account of having to beforehand depend on their academics’ predictions for his or her grades.
John Blake, director for honest entry and participation on the OfS, stated it was “solely honest” to handle the pupils’ expectations to keep away from disagreeable “shocks” on outcomes day.
He instructed TheTelegraph that numerous pupils will really feel “fairly disenchanted” upon discovering out that “their grades don’t match as much as the grades that they had been anticipating”.
“I feel it’s vital for individuals to arrange themselves a bit for that and to acknowledge that,” he stated.
The Universities and Schools Admissions Service (Ucas) has stated that this 12 months will probably be some of the aggressive for pupils to be accepted onto their most popular programs.
Nevertheless, evaluation by the PA information company means that universities are assured candidates will make the grade as a few of the establishments stated that they’ve only a handful of areas, or none in any respect, to supply via the clearing course of that begins on outcomes day.
Between 130 universities, there have been a complete of 23,280 programs with locations out there via clearing as of Friday, six days forward of examination outcomes day – the evaluation reveals.
In the meantime, Ofqual and Ucas have despatched a letter to college students reassuring them that almost all will nonetheless get a spot at their first selection of college.
Clare Marchant, chief govt officer at Ucas, stated the admissions service is predicting a “document, or close to document, variety of 18-year-olds getting their first selection this 12 months”.
Her feedback got here after a report by Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Schooling and Employment Analysis on the College of Buckingham, who stated there could possibly be 80,000 fewer A* or A grades awarded than in 2021.
His evaluation means that some 40,000 college students might miss out on their course or college of selection.
Prof Smithers additionally stated that the variety of out there locations is also pushed down by universities “actively recruiting abroad college students” who pay larger tuition charges than these within the UK, and the next variety of 18-year-olds within the UK typically – together with the next quantity that need to go to school.
Ms Marchant stated beginning charges had created a rising inhabitants of 18-year-olds, with an elevated proportion of individuals this age making use of for locations this 12 months – 44.1 per cent – in comparison with the earlier two years.
She stated: “Whereas some universities have been extra cautious with offer-making to forestall over-subscription, notably in programs like drugs and dentistry the place locations are capped, this implies they’re assured their candidates will meet their presents.
“As in any 12 months, some college students will probably be disenchanted once they obtain their grades.”
She stated the figures for programs out there via clearing are “dynamic” as universities and schools transfer their programs out and in of the system up till outcomes day.