About 28,000 college students in England, Wales and Northern Eire who utilized to go to school are with out a proposal simply days earlier than A-level outcomes are attributable to be revealed, in keeping with knowledge specialists.
In what guarantees to be one of the most competitive university admission rounds in current reminiscence, evaluation by DataHE discovered the entire variety of 18-year-olds not holding a proposal has elevated from about 16,000 at this stage within the admissions course of in 2019 to 27,850 in 2022.
Among the improve is because of the reality there are extra candidates than ever earlier than, however specialists say additionally it is prone to have been pushed by an increase in rejection charges and extra conservative offer-making by high-tariff establishments that need to rein in recruitment after the excesses of the pandemic.
In response to Mark Corver, the founding father of DataHE, the chance of candidates not holding a single supply at this level has risen from 6% to 9% within the house of two years, a 50% bounce proportionally, again to ranges final seen when universities needed to keep inside quantity controls. “It will really feel like fairly a shock after practically a decade of steadily bettering probabilities of getting a proposal,” mentioned Corver.
His warning got here as England’s exams regulator Ofqual and the college admissions service Ucas despatched out an unprecedented letter to all A-level college students to attempt to reassure them, as pressure mounts earlier than outcomes day this week. The letter says practically 300,000 UK 18-year-olds are holding a agency supply, up 7,000 on final 12 months and the best on report, with 30,000 programs obtainable in clearing.
There’s nonetheless an enormous quantity of uncertainty, nonetheless. After two years of upper than common grades throughout the pandemic – when exams have been cancelled and work was teacher-assessed – the federal government requested regulators to set boundaries in order that grades, to be revealed on Thursday, can be midway between these in 2019 and 2021, with grades to return to pre-pandemic ranges in 2023.
Final week it was reported that tens of 1000’s of A-level college students with affords from their preferred university could be at risk of losing their places due to a projected fall of 10 share factors within the variety of A and A* grades in England, Wales and Northern Eire.
After report outcomes final 12 months, when 44.8% of grades have been both A or A* at A-level, specialists within the sector calculate that with the federal government recalibration this may fall to 35% (up from 25.5% in 2019). Whereas virtually one in 5 (19.1%) grades have been A* final 12 months, this 12 months the proportion is anticipated to say no to 13.5%. Equally, the variety of A* to C grades is anticipated to go down from 88.5% in 2021 to 82%.
Corver mentioned college students, even these with out affords, shouldn’t be overanxious. “Locations are there, however they is likely to be at universities or for topics which may not have been on an applicant’s preliminary shortlist and may want a little bit of analysis and suppleness to make the most of.”
Universities who obtained A-level outcomes on Friday evening confirmed there’s nonetheless capability, however they’re warning that clearing can be busy and mentioned college students could have to think about associated topics and different establishments with a purpose to safe a spot.
In the meantime, Ucas disputed DataHE’s evaluation – which relies on Ucas knowledge on the variety of college students “free to be positioned in clearing”. Clare Marchant, the Ucas chief govt, mentioned a report variety of 18-year-olds utilized this 12 months and its knowledge confirmed greater than 97% of those college students obtained at the least one supply, which was additionally a report.
“There are a lot of the reason why college students are eligible to discover a place in clearing. In some circumstances college students, who’re extraordinarily savvy and are always assessing their choices, more and more see clearing as a terrific choice to discover a place.
“The overwhelming majority of universities and faculties could have programs obtainable this week and my recommendation to college students with no place is to hold on along with your analysis and attain out to Ucas should you require help throughout clearing.”
Alix Delaney, head of admissions on the College of East Anglia, mentioned: “We expect it to be a really busy clearing with quite a lot of exercise and quite a lot of universities with vacancies
“Though there could also be some disappointment for many who have utilized to extremely aggressive programs, I believe there’s nonetheless capability in the entire system for college kids to discover a place at a college, ought to they want to go to check this September. They simply may need to consider associated programs, topics or different universities.”
The Division for Training was approached for remark.