Should you apply to uni after Results Day?

With A-Levels becoming more difficult and with evidence of cheating on the rise, getting into uni is more challenging and the process may seem rather harsh. There’s no greater feeling than receiving a notification from UCAS saying that your fave uni has offered you a place; however, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in yet.

This is where the hard work starts. For months you might picture yourself in your dream uni and plan your life there, only to potentially find out that you’ve not got into either of your top two uni choices and you can’t get in via Clearing, which is devastating. This can work the other way around too, as prior to A-level exams, some students may not have done well enough to achieve the predicted grades needed to receive an offer from a certain university and so not apply, only to surprise themselves and get the grades on Results Day. Thus, they miss out on the chance to go to a top university.

But good things may be on the horizon

Recently, our Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, backed a review of consideration into whether students should apply to university after A-Level Results Day. He encourages the universities regulator to set the bar as high as possible on quality in the sector so that universities concentrate on reducing drop-out-rates and endeavour for the best value for money for students. This is where the Office for Students comes in, as they are key to ensuring that taxpayers and students get value for money.

The Office for Students will look closely into the rise of unconditional offers and how such offers “are harming students’ interests and whether they breach consumer’s rights.” They will also look into the benefits of students applying to uni after receiving their A-Level results and develop more rigorous and demanding equality requirements.

What we can expect to see next

  • A review of how students rights’ as consumers can be strengthened. 
  • A review of how to give more student choice; and increase awareness of accelerated degrees.
  • Have the government’s flagship Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework developed to be published at subject level in 2021. 
  • Ensure better support for international students.

It seems as though the Government are trying to create a better process for higher education and listen to students. Applying for uni post-A-level results might prove to be an excellent idea as it gives students the time and understanding to find the right uni for them while providing more chance to get in as they’ll know which unis are available to them based on the grades they already have.

Tilly O’Brien

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