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UCU calls for admissions reform as students receive A-level results

16 August 2018

UCU today congratulated students and their teachers on this year's A-level results, but said a move to post-qualification admissions (PQA) is needed to make the university application process fairer.

UCU said the use of predicted grades to make offers lacks transparency, and has led to a rapid rise in unconditional offers which make a mockery of exams and published entry requirements. The issue was raised by education secretary Damian Hinds this morning who expressed concern over the sharp rise in unconditional offers.

Earlier this year, research for UCU showed that the UK stands alone in the world in using predicted grades to make offers. The union called for an urgent overhaul of university admissions so that places are awarded based on actual achievement rather than estimated grades.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Today's results reflect a lot of hard work and dedication from both students and staff. However, we know that many students' grades will be very different from the ones they were predicted to achieve.

'The current system of predicted grades is highly inaccurate, and encourages the use of unconditional offers which make a mockery of exams and published entry requirements. Instead of relying on guesswork, students should be empowered to choose the institution that's right for them once their grades are known.

'It is time for the UK to grasp the nettle and join the rest of the world by moving to a fairer system where offers are based on actual achievement rather than vague estimates of potential.'