UoB will reduce next year’s entry requirements by a grade for most students

The university has become the first to make this move

Many current A-level students will be worrying whether they will be able to achieve their full potential due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. A-level exams in Wales for 2021 have already been cancelled with grades set to be given based on class room assessments.

However, in the rest of the UK exams will continue and in Scotland and Northern Ireland they have already been pushed back. The University of Birmingham has become the first university to reduce entry requirements for most subjects next year due to the pandemic.

Every subject will see their entry grade lowered except for medicine, dentistry and dental hygiene, nursing and physiotherapy, including foundation years and degree apprenticeship programmes.

Students have been disrupted through school closures and students having to isolate during this period. The university aims to increase its fairness in admissions for its 2021 cohort.

A spokesperson from the university told The Times they want to “acknowledge the pressure felt by teenagers and the learning they have lost after schools closed in March.”

The university is the first to announce this and it is likely other universities will go down the same path. The Vice-Chancellor of UoB Professor Sir David Eastwood released a statement on the university’s website. “We recognise the need to adapt our admissions approach for this year given the extraordinary disruption affecting these students and their schools and the fact that many are likely to experience more than a year of interrupted learning by the time they sit their exams next summer.”

The Vice- Chancellor is hoping this will reduce the anxieties of students and teachers: “We have considered what we can do as a University to recognise and reward potential, mitigate some of the educational challenges as result of Covid, and reduce some of the pressure on students and teachers at this challenging time. Providing greater flexibility in our admissions for 2021 entry is one such area.

“Reducing the entry requirements for almost all of our programmes by one grade will, we hope, alleviate some of the anxieties and ensure that anyone who chooses to apply to study at the University of Birmingham is given the best opportunity to succeed in that ambition.”

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