Sweet Success of A-level Exams and advice on choosing a university

It is wonderful to see the faces of all these young people, as they are full of joy after they received their examination results. Year in year out improvements we have witnessed in those who are achieve the top grades has now slowed down in the last couple of year or so, since the exam process is made much more rigorous. One significant development is the fact that universities now have a free hand in recruiting as many students as they would like on their courses. This freedom is a complete game changer as it has increased competition quite considerably. Universities are now in a game of survival of the fittest, which I think, is a good thing for everyone.

The top universities – including many of the Russell Group are now giving the offer of a place to students who achieve top grades and they have the freedom to admit as many of these students as they want. The limit has been removed, as they are no more being penalised by the government for taking in above a certain number of students. This is a new step in the quest to make universities more accountable as they have to complete in a market place in which students have more choice.

Sadly for some of the less reputable universities, it is a threat to their very survival as brighter students are voting with their feet by opting for the top universities. The intense competition has led to universities offering considerable among of money to entice bright students onto their courses. Thousands of pounds are being offered and the less popular a universities is among high achievers, the more money they appear to be offering in order to attract the brightest.

My advice for young people who are thinking of which university to choose

The fact of the matter is that employers do discriminate and filter job applicants based on the university they have attended, the course they have studied and a few other criteria. What I will advise young people is to ignore the temptation of a free iPad or a few thousand pounds in subsidy and opt for the university which will enable them to do well in the future. They ought to turn a blind eye to the lure of a short-term gain in favour of a long-term success. There are several factors to take into account when accepting the offer of a place at a university. Below are my recommendations:

a. The opportunities and choices that are opened to the young person at the end of their degree course at a particular university – including employability

b. The ability to meet and interact with other young people from different backgrounds and perhaps different parts of the world

c. The enjoyment they will derive from studying the course at that particular university

d. Opportunity to develop as an informed, well-read, enlightened and sociable young adult.

University is not the only option

As for the young people who have not quite made the grade or have still not been offered a place at a university, I will suggest that you consider other options that are available to you apart from a university education. You may want to go straight into the job market or look at apprenticeship. There is in-service training in courses such as engineering or technical skills, IT programming, accounting related and several other fields. Bear in mind that if you train to do something and you are determined enough to be good at it, the sky is the limit in terms of the career that you can develop or the income you can earn from it. After mastering that a particular set of skills and practising in a profession for a few years, you can develop your presentation and speaking skills, your management, marketing and other vital skills, which will make you reach the top of that profession.

For those who need more information about university admission and clearing there is abundant amount of information available and below are some of the links to webpages where they could obtain information.

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Websites for advice on clearing


BBC website – advice


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