A-level students: 15,000 now have grades for first-choice university, Ucas reveals

Around 15,000 applicants now have the grades for firm-choice offers they missed out on last Thursday

Following the reinstatement of centre-assessed grades, approximately 15,000 A-level students who were rejected by their firm-choice university now have the grades to meet their conditional offer, latest figures from Ucas confirm.

Approximately 100,000 students who had their grades upgraded were already placed at their first-choice university on results day last Thursday.

The release comes after Ucas received from the four largest awarding bodies the centre-assessed grades (CAGs) for 160,000 upgraded students.

Of the 60,000 students with upgraded results, one in four (15,000) now meet the entry requirements of their original first-choice university. According to Ucas, around 7% of this group of 15,000 students are from the most disadvantaged backgrounds (POLAR4 Q1).

Ucas also revealed that 2020 has been a record-breaking year for social mobility, with more disadvantaged students gaining places at high-tariff universities than ever before.

Clare Marchant, Ucas chief executive, said: “We have rapidly produced this initial analysis to provide the education sector with insight into the overall picture and to enable support to be directed quickly to the students that need it the most.

“It’s clear from this data that universities have already exercised flexibility when making their original confirmation decisions and have looked closely at the backgrounds of students.

“We are all focused on supporting the 15,000 students who now meet their conditions of entry and may want to make a different decision and take up a place at their original first choice university.

“We will be providing advice and guidance for teachers and advisers through webinars tomorrow and a Facebook Live for students on Friday.”

“For students holding other qualifications, such as BTECs, from across the UK, UCAS is working closely with awarding bodies to process these results to ensure students can make decisions as soon as possible.”

In a briefing note released today, the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned low-tariff universities could see their 2020 intake “reduced to a trickle” as A-level upgrades increase demand for top universities.

Read more: Student number cap axed: DfE maintains policy was ‘not a waste of time’

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