Uncapped student threshold changed to ABB

27 April 2012

Commenting on the Government’s changes to student recruitment core and margin arrangements, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“This is a sensible package that will give more students greater choice. Reducing the threshold to ABB will allow universities with high demand from highly qualified candidates to accept extra students (if they wish) and protect them from cuts in their student numbers. The quality of teaching and learning at Russell Group universities means they are in high demand – on average there are more than seven applications per place. We do not believe our leading universities will decide en masse to expand at the first opportunity, but it is right that those with the capacity and demand can now choose to recruit more students if they wish, perhaps on particular courses.  Of course, it will also be important to get a clear definition of qualifications considered equivalent to ABB at A level. 

“We have consistently argued that the ‘core and margin’ policy of re-distributing places largely on the basis of lower fees does not improve quality or enhance student choice so we are pleased the Government has not only reduced the threshold to ABB but has also reduced to 5,000 the number of additional places to be re-distributed in this way. We urge HEFCE to continue to exclude core numbers in strategic and vulnerable subjects such as science, Maths, engineering and languages so that the number of places on these courses can be maintained.”

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