For more than 10 years we have used a diagnostic test to admit able students to our HND course who have studied maths to A-level standard without achieving a qualification. Students who were admitted to our HND course with disappointing A-level grades have been employed by companies such as Esso and Rolls-Royce; others are studying for doctorates. Two of our HND graduates were appointed to university lectureships last year, one in preference to Oxford D Phils.
There is often, at least in mathematics, remarkably little correlation between ability and performance at A-level: many (especially women) underperform at A-level for a variety of reasons. Your concern would be better directed towards this issue than criticising universities that offer an opportunity to such students to achieve their potential.
It will be sad if the current obsession with ranking universities by spurious indicators such as A-level entry points results in a reduction in these opportunities.
A J S Mann
The University of Greenwich
London SE18Reuse content