Post A level university applications advised

Students should apply to university after they get their A level results, starting their first term of higher education in November.

The change would eliminate unconditional offers and the “chaotic” clearing process, according to a report from the University College Union (UCU).

No other countries use predicted grades to award university places according to UCU research and there are concerns about a trend of increasing unconditional offers by UK universities keen to fill their courses.

Almost a quarter of students applying to university received at least one unconditional offer in 2018 according to UCAS figures, compared to just one per cent five years ago.

However, as few as one in six (16 per cent) A level grades are predicted correctly according to research from the UCL Institute of Education (Predicted grades: accuracy and impact, December 2016). It found that 75 per cent of estimated grades were “over-predicted”, with students failing to reach the mark their teachers predicted, and nine per cent were under-predicted.

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