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New university admissions proposals divide Kingston opinion

By River Reporter Nov 15, 2011

By Kim Heinz

Proposals to radically reform the university admissions system , including the scrapping of clearing for last minute entry, have divided Kingston student opinion.

The proposals published by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas), aim to end the system where university hopefuls are admitted on predicted grades. This would mean the scrapping of the clearing system through which almost 400 students were accepted at Kingston University last year.

Dimitrius Papadeles, 22, a politics student thinks that the proposed overhaul provides no benefits to students.

He said: “I think the current system of predictive grades is great for those who simply underestimated A-levels like friends of mine did. Because they had a chance to enter the clearing process they are now studying what they love and doing very well at their courses.”

The proposed new system, which will go out for consultation until January, would be the first major shake-up to university admission services since UCAS was founded in 1961.

The five-week A-level exam period would end 15 days earlier than at present. Results would be made available by early July rather than mid-August.

Debora Baretti, 22, a sociology student said: “This means that students would have to apply after exam results which wouldn’t give them enough time to make informed decisions.”

Overall, the report received a cautious welcome.

Usman Ali, vice-president of the National Union of Students, said: “These are clearly very carefully constructed proposals, and we would certainly expect they are given careful consideration and not dismissed out of hand – particularly not by those universities with the most work to do to ensure access is widened for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

KUSU President Chris Dingle welcomes the proposals: “This is a great idea, it should have been done a long time ago. The new system would allow greater certainty and transparency both for students and universities and will ensure that students can make informed choices about university.”

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