Unis told not to take too many posh students this year after A-level fiasco

Poshos could be made to take gap years as unis prioritise disadvantaged students

Unis have been told not to take too many posh students this year, as worries over spaces have led the universities minister to ask them to instead prioritise disadvantaged students.

The government’s results U-turn has left unis with over-subscribed courses – Durham is already offering money to students to incentivise them to defer. Now, posh students across the country could be made to take a gap year to make room.

“Where possible try to prioritise those from disadvantaged backgrounds for admission this year,” wrote Michelle Donelan in a letter to Vice Chancellors.

In May, as worries grew that the coronavirus crisis would squeeze bright working class students out of uni, the Office for Students revealed to The Tab unis would be able to miss the usual targets on admitting students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

To make room for students who found the U-turn gave them the grades to fulfil their offers,  the government has removed number controls put in place to try and protect smaller unis from over-recruitment by bigger unis.

Donelan told unis to honour all offers, and to offer deferrals or alternative courses once spaces filled up.

She also admitted the model for moderating grades “resulted in more inconsistency and unfairness than could be reasonably resolved through an appeals process.”

Related stories recommended by this writer:

How the coronavirus crisis could keep working class kids locked out of top unis

‘I had my heart set on Liverpool’: The A-level U-turn came too late for these students

These stats show which unis make far more offers than they have places for