General studies can count

9th May 1997 at 01:00
Nicholas Pyke has unfortunately renewed the issue of the relative acceptability of A-level general studies to higher education admissions officers (TES, April 18).

It is too facile to summarise the position as "many university admissions tutors . . . do not count it towards university entrance" and leave the matter there. In the experience of this examining board, which currently has 51, 000 A-level general studies entries from 1,100 schools and colleges, many conditional offers of places do not specifically include or exclude general studies. In a smaller proportion of cases it is made clear that general studies is acceptable - sometimes explicitly welcomed - among an applicant's subjects, or it is specifically excluded.

Many departments do take account of general studies results in finalising their offers at the post-results stage. Schools and colleges would be unlikely to finance entries on this scale, irrespective of the other merits of general studies, for an examination which "failed to impress many university admissions tutors".

On the very next page of the same issue, Josephine Gardiner reports at length on a college which opts to devote some of its resources to A-level general studies. She found that the A-level candidates there "confound the apathetic stereotype of young voters. They have strong well-informed views on every issue from the European currency to school discipline. They show a keen interest in politics and current affairs, though no party has really secured their loyalty. All of them were irritated by the 'massive generalisations' politicians and journalists make about young people".

DAVID ROBERTS Subject officer for general studies Northern Examinations and Assessment Board Manchester

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now