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Making the most of the nation’s talent

Students at the University of Aberdeen

31 Oct 2017

As part of SFC’s Impact for Access project, Mapping and evaluating the use of contextual data in undergraduate admissions in Scotland responds to the challenge set by the Commission on Widening Access to ensure that university admissions systems do not perpetuate the disadvantages learners have faced earlier in life.

The work was led by Vikki Boliver, Professor of Sociology in the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University. Amongst its recommendations are a set of characteristics to identify disadvantaged applicants. These include spending time in care, being a long-term carer, receiving free school meals, receiving an Education Maintenance Allowance, or being a refugee or asylum seeker.

The study also argues that Scotland’s most highly selective universities could set their minimum entry requirements substantially lower to five B grades rather than the standard offer of five As and still retain a high probability of those students successfully completing their degrees.