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University entry proposals could be the start of further innovation in Higher Education

01/11/2021

An AM has said that proposals by the Universities and Colleges Admission Services (UCAS) could be the start of further innovation in Welsh education.

The proposals may change the way predicted grades decide university places. Under the plans A-level exams would be brought forward by 15 days, results would be published before the summer holidays, and university courses would start in October, allowing actual results to decide university places rather than predicted grades.

Plaid’s Education and Skills spokesperson Simon Thomas AM said the overhaul in university admissions should lead to further innovation in Welsh universities.

The Mid and West AM said:

 “These proposals should kick-start a debate about the Welsh Higher Education sector and could lead to further innovation.  Welsh universities should be encouraged to offer two-year undergraduate courses. Welsh universities should consider developing options for part-time study increasing flexibility in higher education. Why should we be constrained by a system designed decades ago? Students should be able to start courses at any time not just in the autumn. These alterations could allow universities to recruit students from areas where the percentage of students who attend university has been traditionally low.

“As part of this consultation the admissions services should also ensure universities recruit students who have taken the Welsh baccalaureate. The Welsh Baccalaureate should be reformed and developed further.

“In line with these proposals the Welsh government should also review school hours and school term times to examine whether the current arrangements are best placed to meet the needs of a 21st century education system.”