An A and two Bs may spell failure

Teenagers who score two Bs and an A in their A-levels could find themselves squeezed out of leading universities by the new market in higher education, vice-chancellors have warned the government.

Under reforms being introduced for students starting courses this autumn, when fees will rise to a maximum of £9,000, recruitment quotas are to be relaxed so universities can give as many places as they wish to applicants with grades of at least AAB. The number of places on which there are no grade restrictions will correspondingly be cut sharply.

Kenneth Durham, chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference of independent schools and headmaster of University College School, London, said: “Any rule of this kind could have an impact on those people who are just squeezed out below it. The argument should be: let’s liberalise completely.”

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