Following a review by Ucas, there are two new proposals for university admissions based on real grades rather than predicted grades.
There has been mounting pressures for an overhaul of the current system after the controversy caused by last year’s results.
Ministers including Gavin Williamson are understood to believe that post-results applications would benefit disadvantaged young people, including students from black and minority ethnic (BAME) groups, according to The Guardian.
One of the proposed new systems would have university students starting their courses in January. However, this is not preferred, as it would put the UK out of sync with other institutions globally.
There are also worries of a “devolution divide” if an agreement is not reached with the devolved nations, according to Ucas.
Teachers work diligently to predict grades, but it is not an exact science and never can be
– Geoff Barton
John Cope, the director of strategy, policy and public affairs at Ucas, said: “In the case of both options, working with the devolved nations will be essential or else a devolution divide will open up, with nothing stopping Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish universities walking away from Ucas and all the benefits that a UK admissions shared service brings.”
“This would be terrible for students, creating four fragmented and out-of-sync systems. We also need to recognise the pressure placed on universities and colleges by both options, with less time for interviews and other assessments, which is especially relevant to the arts, medicine or nursing,” he added, writing in The Times.
Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said reform was long overdue.
“Teachers work diligently to predict grades, but it is not an exact science and never can be. And in recent years universities have overused unconditional offers as a way of getting bums on seats, which demotivates students in their A-levels, and can lead to them choosing a course which doesn’t suit them.”