Straight-A student? University graduate? Not good enough!

Miserly adults tell us kids they’re still disappointed in us…


Prospective students and graduates are being told that their efforts are simply not enough to earn them university places and graduate jobs.

Recent figures suggest that a record number of young people have been rejected by top Russell Group universities, while those lucky enough to get a place at uni are being told they are not skilled enough for graduate jobs.

Top universities say they have received a record-breaking number of applications this year, according to The Telegraph. By the official deadline, UCAS said 659,000 applications had been made – the second highest ever reported.

Might have graduated - still not good enough apparently...

Might have graduated – still not good enough apparently…

King’s College London had 10 applications for every available place. Manchester – the UK’s largest university – received applications from nearly 60,000 students.

Oxbridge unis turned away 28,000 straight A-students this year, and other top unis following suit.

Lucinda Fraser, managing director of Oxbridge Applications, the consultancy service for those applying to the elite unis, said undergraduates were applying for looking for higher quality establishments due to higher fees.

She said Oxbridge was “an increasingly popular destination for international students who are looking to the UK and US to provide what they view as a world-class education.

“With recent data collected showing a significant increase in international applicants seeking a place in the UK, it is unsurprising that Oxbridge in particular is experiencing new pressure on its admissions system.”

If this was not doom and gloom enough, nearly one-quarter of graduate employers have complained of being unable to fill vacancies.

Nope, sorry. Not good enough...

Nope, sorry. Not good enough…

The findings, based on 189 graduate employers, reported a 17.1 per cent rise in graduate vacancies. Despite the increase, they cited a “mismatch” between the graduates that universities produce and the skills sought for graduate jobs.

Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, told The Times: “The issue is likely to increase in significance as vacancies continue to rise, while demographic changes mean there are fewer young people to recruit.”

It is unsurprising that these statistics have provoked dismay amongst both would-be students and the newly graduated.

One student, David Joels, remarked that “I think it’s crazy that straight A-students are being rejected without a decent explanation”. He was rejected by Bristol for “not taking enough Arts subjects”, despite 2 out of 3 of his A-Levels being literature based.

Sarah Al-Hussaini initially applied for medicine, but even with straight As and A*s in 4 A-Levels, was not offered an interview with her backup. She lamented that “it really does feel like you’re relying on pure luck, as competition is so fierce”.

These problems, however,  just scratch the surface of recent critiques levelled at British universities. Problems have become increasingly pronounced since the tuition fee hike has led to both increased expectations and disillusionment amongst young people.

It is a trend which looks set to continue as young people work hard, spend years achieving top grades, yet get their efforts immediately quashed by curmudgeonly establishmentarians.