Universities allowed to increase places for brightest A-level students

 

Education Editor

More than 100,000 of the brightest A-level students will see their chances of going to some of the country's most selective universities rise this summer.

Universities are being told they can recruit as many students as they want - providing they have at least an A grade and two B grade passes at A-level.

The move is designed to increase competition for places - with 115, 000 would-be undergraduates being able to trawl for places under the scheme.

Last year the scheme was limited to 85,000 students - just those with two As and a B grade pass.

Oxford and Cambridge are unlikely to increase their intake as a result of the new dispensation - but other Russell Group universities are expected to do so.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is also earmarking 5,000 extra student places for universities charging below £8,200 a year for their course.  Most are charging the maximum £9,000 a year.

Hefce is also relaxing the penalties universities face for over-recruitment - allowing them a three per cent tolerance above or below their target number before fines kick in. This year saw fines at their lowest level for years - with nine universities paying out just £1million for over-recruitment.

“These initiatives are intended to meet the Government’s twin aims of increasing dynamism and improving student choice while maintaining control of the student support budget,” it said.

Sir Alan Langlands, chief executive of Hefce, described this year’s budget as showing that higher education was “in quite a secure place at quite a difficult time”, adding:  “The penny has dropped with the Government.  Everyone sees that higher education, science and research are good for the economy.”

Overall, Hefce is distributing £4.47 billion to universities with cash for teaching falling from £3,233 last year to £2,325.  However, this is more than made up for by increased income from student loans.

Sir Alan added that there were “a number of pressing issues” including a drop in part-time and postgraduate recruitment.

“There are early signs of subject vulnerability and a marked decline in numbers of mature students which suggests that we will need to be alert to changes in participation - in particular by disadvantaged groups,” he added.

Suggested Topics
News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Guru Careers: Junior Web Developer

£18 - 22k (DOE) + Benefits & Stock Options: Guru Careers: Junior Developer / J...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Structural Engineer

£17000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Structural Engineer ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Sales Executive

£18 - 24k OTE + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Graduate Sales Executive ...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat