LETTER: A worse scramble for college places

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From Mr Barrie Behenna

Sir: You refer to the debate ("New college entry system would end scramble for places", 23 August), which has been continuing warmly for some months now, about a possible replacement for the current system of university and college admissions, operated by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, and anticipate the debate by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals next month.

May I sound a note of warning? So far from reducing the intensity of the scramble for places through the current clearing system, a new procedure which requires all applicants to defer action until their results are known will surely lead to even greater confusion, uncertainty and stress, apart from the impossibility, which you mention, of interviewing candidates. This would, of course, be alleviated if the academic year began in January, not September/October, but it does not, and there is no enthusiasm for change.

There are many with extensive experience of operating the current system who believe that with a modicum of review it would operate entirely satisfactorily for the vast majority of applicants. If it ain't bust, don't fix it.

Yours faithfully,

Barrie Behenna

Academic Secretary

University of Exeter


23 August