A better way into university

17th September 2004 at 01:00
It is about time our ridiculous university admissions system was scrapped. The change recommended by the Schwartz taskforce - to accept candidates once they have their actual grades - will mean more students end up on the right course.

Just as important, Schwartz wants to ensure more equality of opportunity. A diverse student community will be better able to contribute to a diverse society. This highly desirable outcome requires some complex thinking and delicate negotiation. In the United States, well-intentioned access policies have led to emotionally-charged lawsuits and as much ill-feeling as goodwill.

US-style aptitude tests are not the answer. America has no national exam system, so has no other reliable way to compare students. Subject tests are generally better at predicting success. The biggest barrier to diversity was not in Schwartz's remit - fees and the fear of debt.

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