This week the Telegraph reported on comments from Cambridge University’s Head of Admissions, Mike Sewell, that A-level reforms and the scrapping of AS-levels in their present form will lead to a flood of overambitious and unrealistic university applications. In particular, his fear is that students receiving good GSCE grades and lacking the ‘reality check’ of AS level results will apply to highly competitive university courses despite having no realistic chance of achieving the required grades. The full article can be read here.
As an issue to ponder, what does the Working Adviser community think? Does Mr Sewell have a point or does this merely illustrate that Cambridge University have been far too reliant on AS-level grades in their admissions decisions to date? Should they (and will they) be forced to mirror the system used at the University of Oxford where admissions tests are much more prevalent and AS grades play no real part in the decision making process? And if so, is this a ‘better system’ that more elite universities will seek to adopt when the reforms kick in? Time will tell.