Differentiation for Entry to HE
• Use this slide presentation as an exercise with
your tutor group
• The content is based on applications to LSE and
Bristol Universities where they differentiate at the
top end
• BUT…….all universities will adopt similar
methods!
1
Differentiation for Entry to HE
• These slides are based on a lecture given by Linda Hamer (LSE)
Angela Milln (University of Bristol) and attended by NCB
• Why do universities need to differentiate?
• Facts and figures
• The challenge facing admissions tutors
• Tools for differentiation
• What are the options available to admissions tutors?
• What are the issues associated with them?
• Implications for applicants
2
Most Popular Universities – 2008 Entry
16
14
14.66
11.41
12
10
8
6
4
Cambridge
Oxford
Bath
City
UCL
KCL
Warwick
Edinburgh
0
Bristol
2
LSE
Applications per
place
3
Group task
Working in groups of 5-6 people, try to rank the
following subjects in order of popularity:
•Architecture
•Aural/Oral
Science
•Chemistry
•Classical Greek
•Dance
•Dentistry
•Drama
•Latin
•Media Studies
•Medicine
•Nursing
•Nutrition
•Operational
Research
•Scandinavian
Studies
•Social Work
•Veterinary Science
4
0
Architecture
Aural Sci
social Work
Nursing
Drama
Dance
Classical
Greek
Vet Sci
Dentistry
Medicine
Most Popular Subjects – 2008 Entry
2.5
2
applicants
per place
1.5
1
0.5
5
0
Path/micro
Vet Sci
Russian
Geography
Vet Pathogenisis
Medicine
Elec/Elecron Eng
Accounting
Eng Maths
Mathematics
Civil Eng
Economics
Audiology
Philosophy
Social Policy
Psychology
Eng design
English
Italian
Drama
Institution-wide statistics can hide significant
subject variations
Bristol applications - 2008
30
25
20
Applications15
per place
10
5
6
0
Act Sci
Anthropology
Bus maths/stats
Mgmt sci
HR Mgmt
History
Law
Social Pol
Economics
Sociology
Government
Env pol
Acc/finance
Geography
E'mtrcs/Math Econ
Econ Hist
Int Relations
Philosopphy
Management
Institution-wide statistics can hide significant
subject variations
LSE applications - 2008
25
20
15
Applications
per place
10
5
7
Imagine…
You’re an admissions tutor
Who do you choose?
• Male, aged 18 on entry.
• Good profile of GCSEs.
• Predicted 3 As at Alevel.
• Head Boy at School
• Duke of Edinburgh’s
Gold award
• Work experience in
local GP surgery
• Female, aged 19 on
entry.
• Good profile of GCSEs.
• Predicted 36 points in IB
• Young Leader with
Brownies
• Gap year through
Operation Raleigh
• Work experience in local
hospital
8
What about…
• Male, aged 18 on entry.
• Good profile of GCSEs.
• Predicted A grade
overall in Diploma and A
in an A Level as ASL.
• Captain of local football
team.
• Relevant work
experience within
Diploma programme.
• Female, aged 21 on
entry.
• Lives within 3 miles of
the University, with
childcare needs.
• Good profile of GCSEs.
• Recently completed
access course with
glowing reference from
college.
• Personal statement full
of life experience.
9
Group task for tutor groups
Working in small groups, try to identify
the criteria which an admissions tutor
might consider to help differentiate
between applicants.
10
Some possible tools for differentiation
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
GCSE and/or AS grades
‘A’ Level predicted grades – including A*
Unit grades
UMS marks
Diploma transcript
Extended Project
Subject combination – suitability
Personal statement and reference – holistic
assessment
• Interview
• Generic Admissions tests – SAT/ACER/UNITEST
• Subject-specific Admissions tests
11
Subject-specific admissions tests
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
BMAT – Medicine and Veterinary Science
UKCAT – Medicine
ELAT – English, Oxford
GAMSAT – Medicine
Health Professions admissions test – Medicine – Ulster
HAT – History, Oxford
LNAT – Law
MML – Modern and Medieval languages – Cambridge
Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) admissions test
– Oxford
• STEP – Mathematics, Cambridge
• Thinking Skills Assessment – Computer Sciences, Natural
Sciences, Engineering and Economics – Cambridge
• Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA Oxford) – PPE,
12
Economics and Management - Oxford
Admissions tests - issues
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Confusing picture – no national consensus
No regulator
Evidence of validity?
Additional burden for applicants
• Financial burden
• Tests taken away from home centre
Timing of additional tests
Issues of preparation/coaching and differential
opportunities
Possible unintended bias
Impact on widening participation
13
More general Issues for consideration
What do YOU think?
• Limited number of places available.
• Transparency of criteria for differentiation.
• Issues of fairness:
• Are there any robust, validated and proven tools for
differentiation that have no built-in bias?
• Is it fair to require a qualification that is not universally
available? e.g. extended project.
• Achievement as indicator of potential?
• Role of contextual data?
• Expectation management.
14
Approaches to Differentiation –
Two examples
Bristol adopts a holistic
approach, including:
• GCSE grades
• A-Level grades
• Unit grades (for some
subjects at Confirmation)
• LNAT (for Law)
• Evidence drawn from
personal statement and
reference
• Educational context
(school performance)
LSE adopts a holistic
approach, including:
• Educational Profile (prior
achievement)
• Unit grades (for some
courses)
• Evidence drawn from
personal statement and
reference
• Educational context
(school performance)
15
Implications for applicants
• It is critical that applicants (that is you!):
• Research
• The market
• The course
• Pay attention to
• The selection criteria – NOT just standard offer grades
• The ‘rules’ of the UCAS scheme (closing dates etc)
• Read around the subject
• Motivation/commitment
• Tailor their applications
• EVIDENCE of close fit with selection criteria
• Are realistic
• Is the application a non-starter?
• Is there a back-up plan?
• Are they prepared for disappointment?
16
Looking Ahead (relevant to staff only)
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Increased use of A* grades
Wider range of entry qualifications
Self Selection (the Adjustment period)
PQA (Post Qualification Application)
Change of Government?
Grades vs Skills?
Enrolling is NOT the end – it is the beginning ….
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