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UCU backs students' call for greater use of context in exam results

25 July 2019 | last updated: 26 July 2019

Responding to a report released today, UCU said it welcomed support from students for greater emphasis on the context in which exam results are achieved.

The report on university admissions from the Higher Education Policy Institute, found that around three-quarters of students (73%) thought it was harder to achieve good exam results if you grew up in a disadvantaged area and 72% said higher education admissions should take account of applicants' backgrounds.

A report earlier this year found that students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds are 15 times less likely to enter the most selective universities than their peers from the most advantaged backgrounds. UCU has called for a complete overhaul of the university admissions system.

UCU acting general secretary Paul Cottrell said: 'It is encouraging that students recognise that not all exam achievements are equal and that universities should not treat them as such. There needs to be much greater use of contextual data so that students progress according to their achievements and potential. The best way to deliver fairness is better use of contextualised offers and to radically overhaul the system so students can apply to university after they receive their results.'