Chinese Agency To Be Investigated By Uni After Allegations of Low Grade Entry Places Available
UPDATE: The University has responded to allegations calling them “untrue”, read their announcement here. The University of Southampton has announced it is to launch an investigation into allegations that British […]
UPDATE: The University has responded to allegations calling them “untrue”, read their announcement here.
The University of Southampton has announced it is to launch an investigation into allegations that British A-Level students are being unfairly disadvantaged over higher fee-paying foreign students. The Telegraph have exposed a Chinese agency who claim that they are able to get international students onto Southampton courses with lower grades than normally required.
The report by the Daily Telegraph found that students in China could potentially be able to secure places in Russell Group universities, including Southampton, with lower grades than British students. Reporters from the national paper posed as potential students looking for a place at a top British uni through the Golden Arrows Consulting agency in Beijing, China. A-Level grades of C,C,C would be enough to receive an offer from universities like Cardiff and Sussex. However with grades of B,B,B the ‘student’ was apparently given the option to choose a place between Southampton or UEA, subject to the University accepting the student. For most courses at Southampton, the minimum grade requirements are A,B,B.
Non-EU international students currently pay over £11,000 per year tuition fees in British universities so it comes as no surprise that some institutions might be willing to move the goal posts to deny capable and high-achieving British students’ places if it results in extra income.
This will come as a kick in the teeth to many students around the country who are currently sitting or have sat their A-Levels. With demand for places at Russell Group universities far outstripping supply, despite the increased fees, many students will be expected to miss out on a place at their first choice if their grades don’t meet the required standard.
In The Telegraph’s investigation, there were also indications of applicants lying about their intentions with regards to time in the UK, saying they would return home after graduation whether they intend to or not, allowing them to claim a student visa; something that is already a contentious issue with several international students a year forgoing university, and working full-time to send money home.
We contacted the University for a statement however they were only available to repeat what a spokesman had issued to The Telegraph:
All students applying to the University of Southampton must prove high standards of academic ability to be successfully accepted to their choice of course. International students presenting A-level qualifications (of which there are very few from China) are given exactly the same offer as UK students when applying for courses.
The University regularly visits and trains staff at agencies acting on its behalf abroad to ensure a high quality service is implemented and maintained. Agencies are kept up-to-date on entry requirements for our courses and encouraged only to provide the University with applications from students with an expectation of meeting these requirements.
The University will be conducting its own investigation into the allegations made against Golden Arrow. Any suggestion that an agent hasn’t met the high quality of service we expect is treated very seriously.
The Telegraph have also revealed that they will expose more issues later in the week. The Tab will provide updates as soon as they are available.
What do you think? Is it a fuss over nothing? Let us know below.