More disadvantaged students qualify for higher education in the UK


A group of multietnic students celebrating their graduation by throwing caps in the air closeup. Education, qualification and gown concept.
A group of multietnic students celebrating their graduation by throwing caps in the air closeup. Education, qualification and gown concept.

MORE disadvantaged students than ever will be going for higher education this year in the UK.

The results announced on  Thursday (13) using the robust grading system implemented by Ofqual shows that students have not been disadvantaged due to their background.

In another highlight, a record number of 18 year olds from the most disadvantaged backgrounds in England have been accepted into university this year, up 7.3 per cent from last year.

The new system was used after exams were cancelled to prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep schools, colleges and wider communities safe. 

The grades have remained broadly stable with a 2.5 per cent rise in As and A*s at A level, and a 0.7 per cent rise in overall passes (A*-E).

As many as 98.3 per cent students received grades A* to E at A level, up from 97.6% in 2019. Increase in As and A*s awarded at A level, moved up from 25.5 per cent in 2019 to 27.9 per cent this year, statistics showed. 

“Maths remains the most popular subject at A level with a 2.5 per cent increase in entries this year; entries for 18 year olds increased by 7.7 per cent. The entries for English A level increased by 1.8 per cent. Computing saw an 11.7 per cent increase in entries, with more girls taking up the subject,” analysis of the results showed.

Results for vocational and technical qualifications were broadly in line with previous years, an official statement said.

Students can accept the calculated grade received, appeal to receive a valid mock result, or sit an exam in the autumn. The triple lock will provide an important safety net for the minority of cases where students feel that the calculated grades do not reflect their achievements. Schools can also appeal.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said, “The majority of young people will have received a calculated grade that enables them to progress to the destination they deserve, with the added safety net of being able to appeal on the basis of their mock results, as well as the chance of sitting autumn exams, thanks to our triple lock process to ensure confidence and fairness in the system.”

Students can call the free national careers service helpline on 0800 100 900 from 12-28 August from 8 am to 10 pm.