Bristol University to offer lower grades to disadvantaged teenagers

first_imgBristol University hopes to boost diversity by offering disadvantaged teenagers places for lower grades.Courses that may typically require top grades at A-level will be offered to “high potential” pupils from local schools with grades as low as C.The “Bristol scholars”, who will be drawn from both state and independent schools in the city, will have “overcome educational or domestic disadvantage” such as being the first in their family to attend university, receiving Free School Meals, living in care or being a young carer.The initiative, which was launched by Education Secretary Justine Greening, is thought to be the first of its kind.Launching the scheme at St Bede’s Catholic College in Bristol, Ms Greening said: “‎I was the first in my family to have the opportunity to go on to university, and getting my degree opened doors to the type of future I knew I wanted for myself. Pupils from Bristol receiving A-level resultsCredit:Matt Cardy For every local school, there will be up to five places for disadvantaged pupils, based on head teachers’ assessments of “potential” rather than exam grades.In addition to a lower offer, the University will offer academic and pastoral support and  financial support for those whose household income is below £25,000. Figures released by Ucas this week showed that  groups such as working class white boys are still far behind in university entry rates.Many universities already make “contextual” offers to students which can be up to two grades lower than usual if they come from lower performing schools.Professor Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access to Higher Education, said this was an “innovative” way to improve diversity, adding: “But there is still a long way to go before everyone who has the potential to go to university has equal chance to do so.” “This Government wants to widen access to a great education so that all young people can go as far as their talents will take them.”Professor Hugh Brady, Bristol University’s Vice-Chancellor said: “These are bold measures designed to address a problem that is seen across the education sector.“We’re confident that, in time, we will achieve a more diverse student community at the University of Bristol; this will be a change which will benefit everyone, and something we hope other universities will consider replicating.”Of the 44 students who applied to the pilot scheme, 39 will be offered places to start their courses in 2017. The university aims to have a cohort of 100 Bristol scholars every year starting from 2018, which is part of a wider expansion in student numbers. Many universities already make “contextual” offers to students last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *