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Our plan to ensure that prospective students are not disadvantaged by this year's grading system

On the eve of students across England and Wales receiving their A Level results, one of the UK’s most prestigious Universities has made an unprecedented commitment to tackle social inequalities exacerbated by the Covid 19 pandemic. Russell Group member Queen Mary University of London has announced a series of measures to ensure that prospective students are not disadvantaged as a result of the disruption caused this year.  

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Queens' Building. Credit: Queen Mary
Queens' Building. Credit: Queen Mary

In a statement published on the University’s website, the University has pledged to: 

  • Put in place significant extra support for students in their first semester, recognising that they will have been out of education for nearly six months when they join the University; 
  • Be flexible about entry requirements on the majority of courses, in light of the ambiguity about whether this year’s results are accurate reflections of each student’s academic ability; 
  • Be even more flexible with entry requirements for students who have accessed free school meals - a widely recognised indicator of disadvantage; 
  • Hold places for students seeking to appeal their assigned grades or revert to mock exam results.  

Queen Mary’s pledge to counter the unique set of disadvantages many students have faced this year reflect the University’s long standing commitment to combining academic excellence with inclusion. 57% of Queen Mary students are first in family to attend university, about a third come from backgrounds where the annual family taxable income is less than £20k p.a., over 90% attended a state school and 69% are from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. 

Opening doors to anyone with potential to succeed 

Professor Colin Bailey, President and Principal at Queen Mary University of London, said: 

“Students hoping to go to University this year have already faced incredible challenges, missing out on the end of their school year and the chance to sit exams. Many are now very anxious, and some may be disappointed with the grades they will be assigned. At Queen Mary we are proud to open the doors to a Russell Group University to anyone with the potential to succeed, and hence we have agreed to offer flexibility with our entry requirements particularly to those students who are from disadvantaged backgrounds 

“We remain concerned about the inequalities within society, particularly relating to the lost education for Year 12s and Year 10s.  Everyone in education needs to work together across the UK to ensure that our younger generation have equal opportunities to thrive in education and succeed in their careers.”  

More information:

  •  Queen Mary’s full statement can be read here 

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