We recently published a blog post focusing on comments made by Cambridge University’s Head of Admissions regarding the decision to scrap AS-levels in their current format. Mike Sewell’s cited concern was that the scrapping would lead to a flood of over-ambitious and unrealistic applications and a question mark remained over whether Cambridge University, who rely heavily on AS results as a determinant for making offers, would need to move towards a system more reliant on admissions tests.
Part 2 of this story emerged this week when it was revealed that Cambridge University have, in fact, written to every school and college in the country stating that they will continue to use AS-levels in their selection process and that they “strongly encourage” potential applicants to take 3, if not 4, subjects at this level. The full details of this latest development can be read in this article in the Telegraph.
This opens up a whole new set of implications and it will be interesting to see how schools respond. Will they be willing to swallow the additional financial costs of extra exams just to keep one university happy? Will it see more make the move towards International A-levels, a system where AS and A2s are still coupled? Or will students, despite Cambridge’s assurance that they will not discriminate against those whose education system has not retained stand alone AS-levels, simply not risk applying there and turn to the alternatives? Let’s see what happens.