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Universities: Admissions

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL10300, tabled on 12 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the decision by the Welsh Government has now cancelled A-level exams in summer 2021 and base grades on school assessment, what steps they intend to take to ensure that there is a level playing field for university admission in the UK in 2021.

Answered on

26 November 2020

As autonomous institutions, higher education providers determine their own entry criteria. In making admissions decisions, we would expect providers to take into account variations across the UK in examination systems and types of qualification, as they have for many years.

We have been working closely with Ofqual, the devolved administrations, and partners across the education sector on all decisions relating to examinations and qualifications in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Higher Education Taskforce, chaired by my hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, provides a forum for discussion with sector representatives on a range of issues, including admissions, and we are working with the sector on the challenges which universities, colleges, and students are facing due to the pandemic.

We shall continue to engage with partners across the education sector on the measures needed to ensure that exams can be held in England, and on the issue of grading, with fairness for students as our priority.