Axing predicted grades may affect black students – Report

A report warns that scrapping predicted grades in university admissions could hit the chances of students from under-represented groups, including black students, from getting into top universities, writes Will Hazell for iNews.

The report by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) think-tank says the use of predicted grades is “probably more an aid than a hinderance” in opening up access to universities. In England, the government is consulting on moving to a system of “post-qualification admissions”, where students would only apply to university after they have their exam results. The current admissions system – where universities make offers on the basis of grades predicted by teachers – has been criticised as inaccurate, with only one in five 18-year-olds meeting or exceeding their predicted grades when A-levels exams were last sat in 2019. There have also been concerns that some students from poorer backgrounds are under-predicted.

However, Dr Mark Corver – a university data expert – said the concerns about predicted grades were misplaced. Black students and those from neighbourhoods underrepresented in higher education would both see their chances of getting into the most selective universities fall if places were based on exam grades rather than predicted grades, according to his analysis. In the HEPI report, he calculates that for black students the drop could be as much as 20%.
Full report on the iNews site