‘New first years are the best we’ve had,’ says Birmingham lecturer

But would they have got in if they’d sat their A-Levels?

A Birmingham lecturer has dubbed the latest intake of first years as “the best we’ve had.”

A-Levels were scrapped last year and with more students getting in to uni than ever before, many were left wondering: would this year’s freshers actually have got into their desired uni if they had sat their A-Level exams?

For Ben Warwick, a lecturer at Birmingham Law School, there is no indication that this year’s cohort are any less deserving of their places at uni than those who came before them.

“So far the signs are that these are some of the best students we’ve ever had,” he told The Times. “Some of that is down to their enthusiasm — I think they’re very happy to be doing something a bit more normal.

“But also they have become used to self-study during lockdowns, which is something that is really important to their law studies.”

But while the current batch of students may be academically equal if not better to their slightly older peers, Warwick acknowledges that the increase in high quality students will have a knock-on effect for when they eventually graduate.

Despite this, Warwick said: “A lot of our graduates go into legal practice, but a lot go into other areas as well, such as the civil service or business. There is a sense that well-qualified graduates from prestigious universities will probably fare OK in the job market.

“It’ll be important for [this year’s first years] to capture their pandemic experience when trying to sell themselves . . . to really show what they’re good at.”

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