'A high offer motivates me'

17th September 2004 at 01:00
The TES asked students what they think about the idea of applying to university after they have got their grades Rajeeb Dey, 18, finished at King Edward VI grammar, Essex, starting at Oxford university:

"The university system is not necessarily fair. I have a friend who didn't get any offers, but then got four As at A-level. Some students from underprivileged backgrounds don't apply to the elite universities, because they underestimate what they can achieve. But if they already had three As, they would know what they can achieve."

Andrew Hodgson, 17, Year 13, John Hampden grammar, Buckinghamshire (pictured left):

"If I get an offer with high grades, it's motivation to work hard at my A-levels and do well in the exams, so I can get on to the course I want. I need something to work towards."

Amy Hickson, 17, Year 13 at Dame Alice Harpur, a private school in Bedfordshire:

"Applying with your A-level results would be a more reliable way of giving places to people who deserved them. What's important is the kind of person you are and your academic potential. They should look at what you can offer the working world, not which school you've come from."

Hannah Kuchler, 18, Year 13 at Camden high school for girls, north London:

"The school supports you through the UCAS system. Teachers help you to write your personal statement and find the course for you. But if you've left school already when you apply, there's no guarantee of that support."

Kate Connelly, 18, finished at Hills Road sixth-form college, Cambridge, and on a gap year:

"The idea is good but it sidesteps the real issue, which is that people will choose their university based on the fees it charges. The government is trying to introduce weak, watered-down legislation to pretend it is creating change for ordinary people. In fact, it is actively discouraging working-class people from going to university."

Peter Rowe, 17, Year 13 at Abingdon, a private school in Oxfordshire:

"The system proposed will favour state schools. The current system is based on personal strengths, such as confidence, interview technique and time-management, which you need for a university course, and which not all people at state schools have. People without those qualities should be doing vocational courses, rather than academic degrees. The best way to distinguish between people is by using aptitude tests."

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