Telling students what to study is a brilliant idea

“For the first time, admissions tutors will be required to tell pupils which options to choose in the sixth form to maximise their chances of getting into the most selective universities.

It follows concern that tens of thousands of candidates from state comprehensives are effectively barred from elite institutions by being pushed into taking “soft” A-levels, while middle-class pupils at grammar and independent schools receive better advice from teachers and parents.

The move is likely to lead to a drop in the number of teenagers studying subjects such as media studies, art and design, dance and photography – often secretly blacklisted by top universities – in favour of tougher options such as English, maths, history, geography and the sciences.”

From “Universities must tell students which subjects to study” at The Telegraph

This announcement, to be published in the higher education white paper next week, is very welcome news indeed. Offering students at comprehensive schools the advice that those at public schools get is one of the best ways to improve social mobility.

Encouraging students to take soft A-levels and then take a soft university degree squanders their future, it doesn’t enhance it.  We need to show to our teenagers the stark differences between our country’s best universities and its worst. Many students are taught at secondary school that entrance to any university is all that matters. If we can’t trust our schools to show the differences, then I welcome a centralised website that will help show it instead.

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