Der dum. Der dum. Derdum Derdum Derdum… DerlaLUM. Onomatopoeic writing has never been my strongest suit but that was the Jaws music for those of you didn’t get it. Given that many of you reading this will probably have only a vague notion of what that is doesn’t perhaps ringingly endorse my relevance to you and your generation but I’m employing irony, which I believe you still have, so it’s fine. Anyway why the Jaws music you ask? Because much like the resort of Amity Island there is chum in the water and the circling sharks are lining up around the beachfront.
Fortunately the music playing is not for you, the students, yes you are nervous about your results and understandably so but they are what they are and you can’t influence them now. Here’s a quick guide should it not go to plan (https://edducan.blog/2017/08/07/what-happens-if-your-a-levels-arent-what-you-hoped-for-what-to-do-when-it-goes-wrong-in-your-exams-keep-calm-and-carry-on/)
However the dread notes intone for the universities themselves, as the reduction in mature students, EU and International students has left a massive black hole in their numbers.
A few years back the Government quite rightly lifted an arbitrary cap on the number of students a university could offer places to, allowing unis to grow at their own pace and better plan for their futures but like Icarus before them, many have flown too high, too quickly and the more expansive tariff offered by elite universities has meant many are turning their backs from the less prestigious institutions. But with literally thousands (4000 in fact) spaces available at 15 out of 24 of the Russell Group the same snooty places that turned you down through the UCAS procedure could now very well be biting your hands off. Or licking them. It’s hard to know with these axioms. Either way, the shoe is on the other foot now. The grades that you feared may not be good enough could very plausibly now be good enough. Such is the level of anxiety amongst universities even places as well regarded as Durham, York, Bristol, Glasgow and Sheffield were still actively selling themselves with spaces to spare.
It is finally a buyers’ market and if you don’t get the grades for your first choice uni, don’t sweat it, it may very well not matter – they may well still allow your entry or alternatively you could take those grades through the clearing process and see if you can re-up to an even better university. So no matter what happens, as nervous as you are, you not only have options, good, credible options but the universities themselves are much more afraid.
We’re going to need a bigger boat. (Jaws again.)