Leicester’s Vice-Chancellor calls for a “focus on fairness” on university admissions

The University of Leicester’s Vice-Chancellor has called on UK universities to “focus on fairness” and bridge the gaps in prospective students’ learning following a recent Government request for exam boards to be generous in awarding grades.

Following a year of disrupted learning, Professor Nishan Canagarajah called for universities to provide a targeted programme of revision and transition support for students, complementing the content covered in A-Level and BTEC examinations to ensure students can still reach their full potential and achieve the grades they deserve.

In addition, Professor Canagarajah urged universities to place greater emphasis upon teachers’ submissions setting out individual students’ mitigating circumstances alongside the student’s application for University, which would outline the challenges they have experienced as a result of the pandemic.

Speaking today, Professor Canagarajah said:

“There is no doubt that this year has been one of the most difficult on record for both undergraduates and those students looking to take their next steps into higher education.

“Despite the best efforts of our teachers – the unsung heroes of the pandemic – students are worried about missing their chance to go to university because of a disrupted year of learning. It is up to us as Higher Education leaders to provide them with the reassurance, advice and extra support they need to succeed.

“When it comes to admissions, I would urge all universities to focus on fairness to ensure students can still reach their full potential and achieve the grades they deserve. We are not driving down students’ ambition.”

Professor Canagarajah’s comments come as the University of Leicester launches HeadStart Leicester for 2021, a new bespoke programme of targeted revision support. In addition, the University has a full programme of tailored admissions support where the University of Leicester is committed to also reviewing teacher’s mitigating circumstances submissions alongside the student’s application for University.

The University of Leicester has advised parents and students to submit their UCAS application to meet the 29 January 2021 deadline, as this will ensure students have more time to consider their offers and to make a well informed decision about which institutions to select as firm and insurance choices.