Joanne Stewart reports for Cambridge’s The Cambridge Student on suggestions admissions to Russell Group universities have been ‘socially engineered’:
Several Russell Group universities have been criticised for ‘socially engineering’ their undergraduate intake through the creation of controversial points systems.
Edinburgh, Leeds, Bristol and Birmingham have all established points systems for their admissions processes, which allocate more points to students from poor backgrounds. With such formal use of ‘contextual data’ such as economic background and the quality of schooling when considering applications, critics fear that middle-class applicants will be the ones who suffer, even if they have stronger academic credentials than their less socially advantaged counterparts.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that Edinburgh University has been implementing a numerical score system for the last two years. Their system allows a pupil who achieves three B grades at a “very low-performing school” to surpass in points a pupil with three A*s from a better school. The Sunday Telegraph’s report highlights a similar situation for the past three years of Medicine applications at Leeds University, where a points system has been used in selecting applicants for interview. In light of their background, an applicant with three Bs from a poor school and low-income area would have the points equivalent of a less disadvantaged student with three A*s. A Leeds spokesman told The Sunday Telegraph that the system was suspended in 2012 and would not be used next year. The university declined to say why…
Full story here.