Other political parties have been unable to dare to suggest the re-introduction of “aspiration to excellence”. All credit to the Conservatives for opening up this debate. Shame on the Liberals for not supporting the suggestion. There has been no suggestion to bring back the “direct grant” scheme, which was another method of improving social justice and opportunity. Children are born with unequal opportunities, (see the latest figures on cot deaths, reduced by fewer smokers), and education is always divisive, in all its forms. All government can do is pragmatically address the opportunities for bright and aspiring students to do well. The correspondence in the Times and in The Telegraph in the last two days is revealing. If more students from more schools are given the opportunity to study medicine ,they can always be weeded out as they pass through… Lets see the clearing system (over)fill our medical schools. Stop rationing the places Mr Hunt..
School leavers wanting to be doctors can apply through clearing for the first time at one of Britain’s leading medical schools as universities look for new ways to find the best graduates.
A dwindling population of 18-year-olds and a lifting of the cap on student numbers has created a buyers’ market for potential undergraduates.
Clearing, in which pupils seek a university place after getting their A-level grades, has shed its bargain basement image, the head of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) said. The route has traditionally been reserved for students who do worse than expected in their exams.
Some teenagers are not even bothering to apply to university through the usual channels, focusing their efforts on clearing instead. Traditionally, this would have been a risky strategy because highly selective establishments would offer nothing and other universities sought only to fill unpopular courses. Last year, however, several institutions from the well respected Russell Group had degrees available through clearing.
St George’s, University of London, is the only establishment dedicated solely to healthcare and medical sciences. It is the first time that it has offered five-year medical degrees through the clearing system. Medicine is usually an oversubscribed undergraduate programme, with an average of 11 applicants for every place, according to the British Medical Association……