University of Portsmouth says it is doing 'everything in its power' to ensure students get first-choice courses

THE University of Portsmouth says it is trying to give all students their first choice – but has warned that some places may have to be deferred.

Friday, 21st August 2020, 2:48 pm
Updated Friday, 21st August 2020, 4:53 pm
The University of Portsmouth has said it is doing 'everything in its power' to ensure students get first choice courses Picture: Google Street Maps

It comes after a ruling by the government that students should be given a place at their first-choice university and on their preferred course.

But this is going to be hard to achieve as the decision to go with teacher-predicted results rather than those calculated by an algorithm has seen large numbers of high grades.

The directive from the Department for Education has ended up with 38.1 per cent of results being graded an A* or A compared to just 25.2 per cent last year.

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The University of Portsmouth deputy vice-chancellor, Paul Hayes, said: ‘We are doing all in our power to help all those affected by the chaos affecting A-level and Btec students this summer.

‘Across all subjects we were given students’ teacher-assessed A-level results on Thursday afternoon and have begun contacting every student whose university plans might have been affected by a change in their grades.

‘We are working hard to ensure each and every one can take up their first choice of course, although for a few students this might involve deferring their entry until next year.’

In light of the increased volume of students achieving grades in the highest mark band the government has also removed the ‘cap’ on the numbers of students who can study for medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and teaching.

Professor Hayes added: ‘Now the government has lifted the cap on how many students can train to be teachers, we are working closely with Portsmouth City Council to try and find additional placements in schools for trainees on our gold-rated teacher training courses.’

Speaking about the directive, universities minister Michelle Donelan, commented: ‘I want universities to do all they can to take students on this year or offer alternative courses or deferred places where required.’

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