PRESS RELEASE: Bristol University to offer lower entrance grades to disadvantaged students – HMC response

15 December 2016
Posted by Heidi Salmons

HMC broadly welcomes the move by The University of Bristol to accept lower exam grades from disadvantaged local pupils and applicants from schools with poor A-level results.

The Bristol project, is an attempt by the sought-after university to drive social mobility. It will make offers two grades lower than the standard offer for applicants who have been at schools in the lowest-achieving 40% for A-level results.

Chris Ramsey, HMC's universities spokesperson and Head of King's, Chester said:

“Given the major expansion of good university places in recent years, it is positive news that institutions such as Bristol are finding creative ways of tapping into talent more widely and increasing social mobility.

“Research shows, however, that that prior attainment is key to success, so it’s crucial that offers are not irresponsibly low for disadvantaged students.  For example, heavily discounted grades may well not work in maths and some sciences. 

“Students with lower entry qualifications need to be able to cope with course demands and, as we have found through our experience of educating thousands of underprivileged pupils in our own schools, they often need tailored support. 

“Universities will have a responsibility to care for and support these new students as well as their existing ones.”

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