Birmingham University lowers 2021 entry requirements due to COVID-19 disruptions

Oliver-Beckett and Lewin take a look at the decision made by Birmingham University to lower grade boundaries for the 2021/22 academic year.

Immy Oliver-Beckett
30th November 2020
A-level students have been put under increased pressure regarding the uncertainty of higher education admissions this year. This has included grade confusion, such as the A-level mark U-turn.

Because of this uncertainty, Birmingham is reducing entry requirements across the majority of their undergraduate degree programmes by one grade.

Birmingham is the first university to have taken this step.

“We need to recognise... the extraordinary disruption affecting these students

Professor Sir David Eastwood, University of Birmingham Vice Chancellor

Medicine, dentistry and dental hygiene, physiotherapy, nursing, and social work are the only undergraduate degree programmes excluded from the new initiative. This is due to their different examination format. 

The university has issued a statement explaining the decision to lower grade boundaries, stating that: “every part of society has been impacted by COVID-19, but its longest lasting effects may well be on the young, with those due to sit GCSEs and A-levels, or equivalent, this summer amongst those most affected.”

Many students who were unable to take their exams last summer have sat them this autumn due to feeling let down by their assigned grades.

Mia Lewin, a former pupil at a school in Dorset, has shared her thoughts on the effects of the pandemic regarding A-level examinations. The five month period away from education made it “incredibly difficult” to keep up with the workload required to achieve her desired grades, says Lewin. 

The initiative aims to alleviate the pressure put on students in a similar position to Lewin.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, Professor Sir David Eastwood, has acknowledged these stresses and has said: “We recognise the need to adapt our admissions approach for this year given the extraordinary disruption affecting these students and their schools and the fact that many are likely to experience more than a year of interrupted learning by the time they sit their exams next summer.”

Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons

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