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Caveat Emptor

The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Monday, 31 October 2011

UCAS and University application

It seems to me that there is an obvious way to organize admission to English universities so that potential students can apply after they know their results: start the university year in January. There would be a lot of advantages and, as far as I can see, few disadvantages. There is no need to change the timing of A level examinations. The existing university terms could be kept with teaching in the existing Spring and Summer Terms followed by the Summer vacation and examinations in the Winter Term. Educationally I can only see benefit - students would have the Summer vacation to revise and think about the material and they would start the next academic year with it fresh in their minds. It would also give students who gain places at university an opportunity to spend an extra term at school  perhaps following a pre-university preparation course. There would, of course, be a slightly painful transition period, but it shouldn't be beyond the wit of any institution worthy of the name 'university' to be able to cope with that. Now tell me all the reasons why it can't be done.


Leo said...

This makes a lot of sense, though it would also probably be useful to shorten the summer vacation - especially in the case of universities like Oxford and Cambridge that don't return until October - and lengthening the Christmas vacation. In particular, so that degree results aren't delayed until after Christmas, which probably isn't desirable. An added benefit is not having to do exams in the summer weather, which is also undesirable for a whole host of reasons. I agree that this seems an obviously good idea.

ucas said...

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