Russell: universities' grasp of new curriculum is 'crucial'

4th November 2011 at 00:00

Education Secretary Michael Russell told universities it was "crucial" they have a "good understanding" of the changing landscape under Curriculum for Excellence and plan for a cohort of young people with different experiences and different expectations.

His comments came amid concerns that some universities insist on applicants sitting five one-year Highers in one sitting for certain high- tariff courses, when schools are reforming S4-6 to offer two-year Highers and sittings potentially over three years.

But in a series of workshops delivered at a Ucas conference on higher education in Scotland, admissions officers said although they knew they would have to adapt, there was little chance of their adopting common criteria for entry to their courses.

Some argue that five Highers in one sitting provides evidence of a student's ability to manage a portfolio of exams in one year at university.

Universities' attitudes to an applicant's "personal statement" was one example of diverse practices.

Robin Gordon, head of admissions at Glasgow University for accountancy and finance, arts, science, engineering and social sciences, said he gave more credence to school references than personal statements.

But St Andrews University's director of Scottish admissions and access, Mike Johnson, took a directly opposing view: "For us at St Andrews, the personal statement is the thing."

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