A-level Results: This Year’s Student Struggle


UCAS helpline

One year ago, two years ago… a lifetime ago! We all still remember that not so hot early August morning as we open envelopes and crashed web pages to eagerly check our A-level results.

Whether you struggled through exams or clearing to get here, we can all safely say it was a bit of a bumpy ride.

And it certainly hasn’t changed for this years college students! Over 145,000 students have been eligible for clearing this year and there has been another fall in grades, however 9% more students have accepted a place at university. UCAS stated this was a record high on A-level results day.

There still  seems to be hope for those in clearing, as over 30,000 courses began advertising on the clearing website on the 15th August. 16 out of 24 Russell Group universities are battling for those with grades ABB or higher, with a total of 3,400 courses on offer. Dr Wendy Piatt, Russell Group Director, explains how the ABB is a gateway for more opportunities:

We hope this year’s change to a lower threshold of ABB or equivalent will reduce some of the unintended consequences from last year when students who wanted to attend a leading university and had the right qualifications were not able to – even when those universities wanted to accept them.

Clearing is no longer the only way in for students, with adjustment also opening doors for those who have performed better than predicted. Fred Binley, head of student recruitment at Lancaster, highlights the successes of adjustment:

Candidates seem to understand adjustment much better than in previous years, and it’s helping to change the character of clearing. It’s not a ‘clearance sale’ now. The relaxation in the controls on numbers means top universities have spaces available.

It seems Russell Group Universities, including Southampton, have worked even harder this year to let those students with good results have the opportunity to excel at a leading university, despite the second biggest fall in history of A-levels.

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Editor of Wessex Scene 2014-15 Features Editor 2013-14 Writer 2012-2013 I have been involved with the publication throughout my time at university. As editor, I have worked with my team to redesign the magazine, the website and even create special editions on top of our monthly issues. I primarily write news, features and lifestyle pieces.

Discussion1 Comment

  1. avatar

    Obviously Im thrilled that Southampton/Russell Group is making giving a little bit of slack, and Im glad for all those that get a place to University. But, does it have to be about A-levels all the time? Can we celebrate the BTEC students a bit too? And those that gain places via access courses. There places to university are just as valid.

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