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University Applications System 'Out of Date'


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The university entrance system should be switched so students apply after they have their A-level results, says Keele University's vice-chancellor.

So it appears after all this time that the university applications system is being questioned.
While exams have been changed and updated, this system has remained the same. According to Professor Nick Foskett, 'the current system was designed for an era when many fewer students applied.' Understandable, education has been greatly expanded in its availability in comparison to a few decades ago.

Foskett adds that 'Applying before results creates unnecessary uncertainty'. Although I agree with this in terms of knowing possibilities for your future education, and therefore your future, it kind of sets people up for job positions. Many people will experience uncertainty through job applications. However, although it is suggested that school, college and university is setting its students up for life in the long run; do you actually believe that to be true?

UCAS admissions is already fighting against this battle, informing us that students are able to apply after receiving their results through the clearing system. Apparently, it shouldn't be seen as a 'last chance saloon'. However, clearing in my opinion is just showing students what places are left after everyone has been accepted or rejected. They're not going to be any of your choices, and there may have been a reason why you didn't pick them previously. Why should you pick them now? Because they are the only ones trying to fill their spaces and gain that ?9k a year per student?

Fosket also suggests that at this moment in time, young people are 'locked into' a system expecting them to create decisions at an early stage will effect their future dramatically. Selection of options in year 9, for example. You pick several subjects you wish to study or you think will be more enjoyable or easy on top of the few compulsory subjects such as English and Mathematics. I don't know about you, but I certainly didn't know what I wanted to do for the rest of my future at the age of 14!

So, it is believed that students should have to opportunity to apply after receiving their grades, with the ability to visit the university and such during the academic year that they are still at college. The UCU lecturers' union argues that changing the admissions timetable would be difficult, which would be the result of changing the applications system to one where students are able to apply after receiving their grades mid-August.

The chief exec. of UCAS uses clearing as the chance of applying after receiving your grades. Should this really be the case? She also says: 'That said, I'm certain that the predicted grade/conditional offer model will also continue to be used and viable for the foreseeable future.' This shows implications that the idea of change is not greatly considered by the so-called 'higher powers' in the education system.

I believe that with the cost of universities going up, with the government supposedly wanting everyone to go to university, people do not want to go for a sixth, seventh, twentieth, seventieth choice. They made their choice of up to five universities that they wanted to go to. If the students were serious about what they wanted to study and chose the best universities for their options, they aren't going to want to pay ?9k a year to study Mathematics in a university that mainly focuses in Sports, for example.

tl;dr: It is being questioned whether students should be able to apply after they receive their grades to remove uncertainty, it's suggested that young people are 'locked into' a system causing them to make life-long decisions early on in life.

My opinions are pretty much linked in with the information above.
Do you believe that universities are behind on their applications system?
Are you planning on going to university/are you at university?
How do you believe applying after receiving your grades would (have) effect(ed) your choice?
Discuss. :)

I felt the same way when I was applying for college. I had to have my application done by the end of July, but I didn't receive my grades until late August. It made getting a place very hard, and due to screwups within the system, I ended up joining college a month late.
Getting into my college of choice was easy enough, despite being accepted at a sixth form pre-grades, I applied to a college after I received them and luckily enough I got in, though.

It was during college that we had the major mess-ups. Several courses had to retake their exams for certain subjects, delaying some of their grades being send to their universities that they had applied for. Some lost the place entirely.
Well I am ****ting it about the 15th for my results even though I should be fine, but still it's pretty scary waiting to find out. I think that if people applied after getting their results then some may not work as hard for the exams as they may just think "oh I'll just do this much effort and then see where I can get in with my results" instead of "okay, I need ABB so I need to work hard to ensure that I get those grades".

I also think it would be pretty tough for the universities to make a decision in about a month of every single applicant that they want on their course as it does take them a few months to accept your offers when you apply initially.
Of course. That's why the entire timetable would need to change in order to bring a new system like that into effect.
Starting later and finishing later in the year would probably offer the best opportunity of bringing in a new system, particularly as there isn't an education facility further to that of a university. Whereas through school and college, you are leading up to a different educational facility which has it's fitted starting times and such.