Is the HE admissions system in the UK fit for purpose?
Speakers: Richard Partington (University of Cambridge)
Date: 18 Nov 2015 Venue: Downing College Regent Street Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 1DQ
Time: 16:30 - 18:30
Type: Seminar Fee: Free to attend

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Admission to UK universities essentially rests upon two foundations: public examinations at 15+ and 17+, and the UCAS process. 

Over the last three decades exams have changed significantly, and are now changing again, and in the same period the proportion of the UK population entering HE has increased dramatically: from c. 10% to c. 40% of 17-19 year-olds. But, throughout, the UCAS system has arguably - and remarkably - remained substantially unchanged. 

How can this be? Has it remained so effective in a shifting world that no change has been needed? While it would be wrong to say that admissions processes in individual higher education institutions have been similarly characterised by stasis, one might say that change there has been driven more by shortage of resource than by any radical or even incremental rethinking of approaches to selection or to admissions objectives. 

In this seminar Richard will question whether, under these circumstances, and in the light of increasing concern about social mobility and HE access, HE admissions in the UK remain fit for purpose.

Speaker biography

Richard PartingtonRichard Partington is Senior Tutor of Churchill College, University of Cambridge. He lectures on Medieval Britain in the Cambridge History Faculty, and writes and broadcasts on British politics, war, law and crime in the fourteenth century. As Senior Tutor of Churchill he is responsible for the education and welfare of some 800 students. Richard chairs the University’s policy committees on student welfare and finance, widening participation and student selection.

He is also a non-executive director of Cambridge Assessment and chairs the standards committee of the exam board OCR. Latterly he has been working with the Welsh government on examination standards and provision. Richard is a regular commentator in the national debate on education, access and social mobility. He is the only member of his family to have attended university.

Regent Street Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 1DQ

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