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Admission processes to universities are a legalized form of discrimination – FE News

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Admission processes to universities are a legalized form of discrimination - FE News

If I apply for a job and get rejected because of my background or ethnicity, people in the company I applied to can expect their collars to feel. And yet, these same criteria are crucial, albeit indirectly, when entering higher education. There are endless familiar reports and statistical analyzes of the extent to which ethnicity, poverty, number of books in the family, etc. are strong indicators of likely educational attainment. In his excellent work on Education policy, Stephen Gorard (director of the Durham University Evidence Center for Education) claims what he calls contextual techniques. According to his idea, universities will consider whether applicants come from low-income families or single parents, whether they are under the care of children, etc. as part of the admission process. However, the other side of this rather unattractive coin is that according to Hess (Agency for Higher Education Statistics), less than 93% of students 81 out of 189 universities in the country went to public schools. In other words, students with private education are much more represented, given that in the country only 7% of students attend private schools.

At South Central Institute of Technology (SCIOT) we follow a perspective that goes further than Howard. We have an open invitation that says anyone can come talk to us about digital education and learning at any level they aspire to, right down to the degree. This does not mean that we let everyone in – far from it – but we are more interested in attitude, personality and desire to learn than to judge solely on the basis of paper qualifications. What matters is what we do when students join in to make sure they have the support they need.

Negotiations for admission to slalom are complicated by the refusal of more than half of UK universities to consider T-Levels as an adequate qualification to apply. Speaking at FE Week in January, Nick Hillman, director of the think tank at the Institute for Higher Education Policy, said: “In the event that universities have already realized that T-levels are unlikely to provide effective preparation for a particular course, they need to be truly clear … keep up with students middle class when it comes to admission to highly selected institutions ”. An important point for T-Levels when they were launched was that they would have equal status with A-Levels. As independent institutions, universities can and do not to see them as such. Unless there is a significant change in this discriminatory policy, T-Levels will never gain public trust and will ultimately fail. Add to this the current conversations around the concept minimum admission requirements for HE and it is easy to see a future where university education will become even more a reserve of the middle classes than it is now.

Which brings us to the other end of the scale. If someone fails in school and does not receive the required grades in math and English, they usually end up in FE college, where they need to be carefully educated to a certain level of self-confidence to cope with retakes. The success of individual entrepreneurs in restoring employment of these young people is very impressive. Of course, if students fail to get passes, it also disqualifies them from entering the university. One might ask why universities themselves are not required to support students in these subjects, which may be excellent in other fields, rather than simply saying that without these assessments, so far and beyond.

The government is very focused on this raising the level, but, frankly, the frustration that its focus seems to be very narrow, geographical. In every city and town there are areas more affluent compared to neighboring streets and mansions, where educational outcomes are predictably worse, not for a reason other than family background. Instead of being a proverb ivory towers, our universities must be fully involved in the fight for equal opportunities in all areas, which means not only the admission of those students who already have a head start in life. At Milton Keynes College Group we have a strategic document outlining our ambitions for the coming years. A common cry for us to help in production Fair futures for everyone. One of the ways we try to do this in SCIoT is by offering HE programs that are full-time and part-time, as well as top-level training and widely recognized CPD qualifications. We offer flexibility with full-time learning, distance learning and hybrid options. The goal is to provide qualifications that are modular and “challenging” in name Lifestyle training through which people can adapt their studies to existing work and family commitments. But only so much can FE colleges and institutes of technology do, and it’s time for universities to do more to answer the call. Moreover, they must recognize that by limiting their selection criteria to the paper certificates held by my applicant, they are potentially losing great minds who deserve a great future that would be the merit of their institutions.

Alex Warner, director of MK College

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