Should Students with “Mediocre” Grades Be Denied the chance to go to University?

Over the last decade, there has been an increase in the number of universities in the UK.  This is due to many polytechnic institutions being re-opened as “newer universities”.  Plus, Tony Blair’s pledge to get 50% of people into university has lead to a belief held by many parents and teachers that university is the best and only good option for young people, regardless of whether or not it will benefit the individual; whilst other options such as Apprenticeships are ignored.

In turn this has lead to an increase in the number of people studying at universities in the past few years.  However, many students realise that those who will benefit from university (such as one needing to study Medicine in order to become a doctor) should have more of a choice to go.

A discussion on The Student Room has questioned the entry requirements to some universities.  Adidas90, TSR user says:

I often read the phrase: “University should be for everyone.”  University should be for people with a decent academic record.  University is not for everyone and people who attain grades below a certain level should not be allowed to go.

Coincidently, there have been significant increases in the number of students gaining A grades at A Level, and an increase in the number of students passing A Levels over the past few years.  Some believe that this is due to the “modularisation” of A Levels, meaning that students take exams at the end of each module, and can resit if they don’t get the required grades in specific modules. As a result, more students are able to gain the required grades for their conditional offers to study at their chosen universities.

Some students believe that poor A Levels equals “poor university, poor degree classification and low employment prospects.” However many  succeed regardless of this and so this leads into the debate about A Levels and their validity.  Some believe that A Levels are not a measure of intelligence, how hard a student has worked, potential or the student’s capability to study a degree.

One student says:

It’s a little unfair to write someone off just because of poor performance at A Levels.  There are a variety of factors that can contribute to this and A Levels are a terrible indicator of intelligence. People who are only going to university because ‘everyone else is’ or because they’ve got nothing better to do should not be allowed to go.”

University should be for those who have the potential to succeed and benefit from it.  University should not be for those who are there to ‘delay’ employment or because it is seen as ‘the only option’.  The option of university may benefit some, but the government and schools must work in encouraging others to look at other options after college or sixth form.