London Higher welcomes the announcement confirming the switch to Centre Assessed Grades and the removal of the student numbers cap. It is clear the situation remains a fluid and also uncertain one for many students, universities and HE colleges. Students are the priority – and London’s HE institutions are putting them first, and doing all they can to help and give the best advice to them during this unprecedented and very stressful time.
This latest policy change means many students are now able to take up offers which had not been met under the previous system. At the same time this presents challenges for many of our universities and HE colleges. Some are now facing logistical and capacity difficulties as maximum entry levels for autumn 2020 courses have been reached. This situation has been accentuated given the imperative for facilities, including teaching spaces, to be covid secure and for social distancing to remain in force.
The disruption to planning and student number projections may present financial difficulty for some departments, or indeed whole institutions. It is vital that the Government now provides an appropriate support package to ensure stability and protect the interests of continuing and newly enrolled students at any affected institutions.
Clarity is now needed in respect of BTec grades, and recognition given to the impact that delays in receiving these results for some students will have. Our universities and colleges are supporting and advising BTec students, a number of whom wish to enter higher education.
Colleagues in all London’s HEIs’ are working hard with students who want to start their courses this autumn. All are committed to offering a full and safe education programme from September, with many signing London Highers COVID-19 secure Charter, illustrating the practical steps that London’s HEIs are taking to ensure a safe return to work and study in the autumn.
London is a great place to be a student in, providing the most fantastic and diverse group of institutions, and programmes. There is a course that is right for every student and our universities and HE colleges will do what they can to help find it. Our institutions are committed to speaking with all students, and discussing the options that are available to them.