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Bristol to Offer Lower Entry Grades for Disadvantaged

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The University of Bristol is looking to increase its number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds by offering places with reduced grades.

The plan involves accepting lower exam grades from disadvantaged local pupils and applicants from schools with poor A-level results.

The project is to be launched by Education Secretary Justine Greening and represents an attempt by the university to drive social mobility and attract a wide range of students.

Vice-chancellor of the University of Bristol Hugh Brady, said the scheme would be a "step change" in admissions.

The university will make offers two grades lower than the standard offer for applications who have been at schools in the lowest-achieving 40% for A-level results. For every local school, there will also be five places for disadvantaged pupils, based on head teachers' assessments of potential rather than exam grades.

The latest Ucas figures indicate those students from wealthy backgrounds are nearly four times more likely to apply to university than their poorer counterparts and as a result the university wants a more diverse intake of students.

The university has reportedly spent £18 million trying to recruit students from poorer backgrounds. Prof Brady said: "These are bold measures designed to address a problem that is seen across the education sector.

"We're confident that, in time, we will achieve a more diverse student community at the University of Bristol, this will be a change which will benefit everyone, and something we hope other universities will consider replicating."