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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:09 am 
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https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/9541/UK- ... ?list=1676

What many people have been saying for a while - it is time that university applications took place after A level results. As this comes from the University and College Union it might have more teeth than when others say it, but who knows? Our Prime Minister doesn't seem to listen to public opinion on other matters so I doubt it will be an easy win.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:17 am 
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Predictions vary between schools too - some unis know that certain schools over-inflate. With AS levels now gone then I think it is time to look at this again. If you read TSR then there is huge pressure on teachers to give the 'right' predictions from parents .. very silly when offers are missed and then suddenly it's the school's fault.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:23 am 
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Guest55 wrote:
Predictions vary between schools too - some unis know that certain schools over-inflate. With AS levels now gone then I think it is time to look at this again. If you read TSR then there is huge pressure on teachers to give the 'right' predictions from parents .. very silly when offers are missed and then suddenly it's the school's fault.

Yes a friend of mine who is HoD at a grammar school has had parents basically threatening her over predicted grades, going to the head to complain when she has stuck to her guns (happily head always supportive) as well as blaming her for their little darling's lack of motivation ('when you refused to predict her an A she gave up working') and shouting at her on results day when university offers were missed. Very nasty.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:08 am 
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Guest55 wrote:
If you read TSR then there is huge pressure on teachers to give the 'right' predictions from parents .. very silly when offers are missed and then suddenly it's the school's fault.

My favourite complaint went along the lines of:

My son is spending all night playing computer games in his bedroom. He's not sleeping properly and his grades are slipping. He'll never get accepted to XYZ university. What are you going to do about it?

I said I would help him find a family to adopt him.

I did get pulled up for it. A stiff letter was sent to the head. To be fair to the head, he was trying (unsuccessfully) to suppress his laughter during the dressing down and eventually capitulated with, "play the game, Mr RedPanda, play the game!"

My change of career happened soon after. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:53 pm 
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So... sounding naive, how does it work in other countries?? Are offers/acceptance all done within a month?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:58 pm 
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stroudydad wrote:
So... sounding naive, how does it work in other countries?? Are offers/acceptance all done within a month?

I'm sure it's possible online. Even if it's a stretch, there's little reason why universities couldn't begin term a little later for first years. Given how empty most subjects' timetables are, it's not as if they're struggling to get through everything by June in the first year. I'm not sure the universities would want to forego a month's accommodation income though...

How about an enforced gap year, where the student has to have meaningful employment for a year in the sector for which they are seeking a degree? Employers would have to pay a minimum wage, with an additional credit to their future student loan account. It might confirm a career choice for most and cause others to change their minds - a valuable investment rather than studying a subject for 3+ years then realising it's not what you want to do.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:12 pm 
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stroudydad wrote:
So... sounding naive, how does it work in other countries?? Are offers/acceptance all done within a month?
Why would it have to be a month? If you separate out school leaving exams from the start of university terms, there is no reason at all for it to be a month. Quite a few countries have university entrance tests which are nothing to do with schools. Most countries don't have A levels or similar.
anotherdad wrote:
How about an enforced gap year, where the student has to have meaningful employment for a year in the sector for which they are seeking a degree? Employers would have to pay a minimum wage, with an additional credit to their future student loan account. It might confirm a career choice for most and cause others to change their minds - a valuable investment rather than studying a subject for 3+ years then realising it's not what you want to do.
I would also enforce a gap year to be honest - some kind of compulsory volunteering or community service would be part of that. The higher ed sector feels to me like a time bomb - I work in it, study in it and have children in it and it doesn't look pretty from any of those angles. Separating A level predictions from university offers would be a great start towards liberating young people from the education treadmill. And scrapping GCSEs would be a logical step after that.

Re your point about getting through the curriculum by June - almost everyone I know has no or very few timetabled lectures after Easter. It is shocking when you think what they are paying! They could easily start in January and cover the material in fewer hours by June in most cases.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:28 pm 
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Amber wrote:
Separating A level predictions from university offers would be a great start towards liberating young people from the education treadmill. And scrapping GCSEs would be a logical step after that.

:shock: Think of the league tables! How would we be able to tell which schools we should over-prepare our children for?

Amber wrote:
Re your point about getting through the curriculum by June - almost everyone I know has no or very few timetabled lectures after Easter. It is shocking when you think what they are paying!

I was being generous. A friend's son is at KCL doing history and has managed to commute in from Bucks and hold down an almost full-time job in his second and third years :lol: I think he has less than four hours' teaching a week and nothing after Easter. £9,250 for that. My daughter's subject at her first choice university has around 300 teaching hours in years one and two and over 500 in the final year. At least there seems to be a bit more value there.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:41 pm 
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Amber wrote:
stroudydad wrote:
So... sounding naive, how does it work in other countries?? Are offers/acceptance all done within a month?
Why would it have to be a month? If you separate out school leaving exams from the start of university terms, there is no reason at all for it to be a month.


A level results come out in the middle of August. University first term typically starts mid to late September. i.e. one month later. Hence stroudydad's perfectly reasonable question.

Sorry if I'm being dim but I don't understand what you mean by 'separating out school leaving exams from the start of university terms'.

Would A level results be issued earlier, universities start later or what? Can you give an example of how it might work with dates for those who don't want to do a gap year?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:31 pm 
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Surferfish wrote:
Amber wrote:
stroudydad wrote:
So... sounding naive, how does it work in other countries?? Are offers/acceptance all done within a month?
Why would it have to be a month? If you separate out school leaving exams from the start of university terms, there is no reason at all for it to be a month.


A level results come out in the middle of August. University first term typically starts mid to late September. i.e. one month later. Hence stroudydad's perfectly reasonable question.

Sorry if I'm being dim but I don't understand what you mean by 'separating out school leaving exams from the start of university terms'.

Would A level results be issued earlier, universities start later or what? Can you give an example of how it might work with dates for those who don't want to do a gap year?


UK university courses typically begin in September, and UK exam results come out in August. This article is suggesting the UK has it all wrong.
I was answering Stroudydad's question (I agree it was perfectly reasonable and did not wish to suggest otherwise) about what happens in other countries, given that the UK is literally the only country in the entire world to base university offers on predicted grades. I meant by the phrase you quote that once you say that exam results don't have to come out in August, or university terms don't have to start in September, then it is all to play for and you can redesign the system entirely. Terms could start in November, or January, like they do elsewhere. A levels could be sat at Christmas, or Easter, or September - it doesn't have to be this way! I am not familiar with the entire world's university systems but do know that nowhere else does it like we do and students still manage to get educated, having applied once they have the right bits of paper and know what they can aim for.


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