Guidance for university entrance


university guidanceThe UK's leading universities have published guidance for students warning them not to take too many 'soft' vocational subjects at A level if they intend to study for a degree.

The Russell Group of universities has warned students that they will disadvantage themselves if they fail to study at least two traditional subjects,such as English and maths.

Produced in collaboration with the Institute of Career Guidance, the guide, called Informed Choices, is aimed at pupils making their post-16 qualification choices. It features advice on which subjects should be included at advanced level - including English, maths, physics, biology, chemistry, geography, history and languages.

The website advises: "If you decide not to choose some of the facilitating subjects at advanced level, many degrees at competitive universities will not be open to you... If you plan to take more than one perceived 'soft' subject, some caution may be needed."

Dr Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group, said: "All students - particularly those from less advantaged backgrounds - must have access to appropriate information and guidance about the choices that will maximise or reduce their opportunities and life chances from an early age.

"It is really important that students do not disadvantage themselves by choosing a combination of subjects at A-level which will not equip them with the appropriate skills and knowledge for their university course or which may not demonstrate effectively their aptitude for a particular subject.

"Informed Choices emphasises the importance of 'facilitating' subjects, such as maths and English, which are particularly effective in equipping students with the skills they need for a large number of competitive courses and in increasing a student's chances of getting on to those courses."

Universities minister, David Willetts, said: "Improving information for prospective students is a priority for the government, and will form a key part of our plans for higher education. They need clear information on which qualifications they need for their chosen university courses so they can make informed decisions."

February 2011

School Leadership Today