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Queen Mary commits to giving opportunities to students after a year of disadvantage

At Queen Mary we are proud to accept students from backgrounds typically under-represented at Russell Group universities: 57% of our 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 67% are BAME. We are also very pleased to welcome students from over 160 countries.

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Our students are amazing and go on to have fantastic careers across the world. As a Russell Group University, we are deeply proud of the students who join our community, and of their subsequent successes. This is the main reason why all the staff are proud to work at Queen Mary University.

Students aiming to go to university this year have already faced unprecedented challenges.  They have experienced an abrupt end to their education and then are being awarded teacher-assessed grades, which are subsequently moderated based on the performance of previous pupils within their Schools, rather than being able to sit examinations. Many are now very anxious, and some may be disappointed, with their grades. Conversations with our own applicants in the run up to the UCAS deadline for the acceptance of offers, coupled with the data we have now seen from UCAS indicates that students from the kinds of backgrounds we recruit from have been particularly disadvantaged. This is a real concern. Since 1785 Queen Mary University of London has within its DNA the sole mission of addressing inequalities, which are embedded within our society.  In the light of this information we have taken the decision to lower our typical entry levels, by 1 or 2 grades, to many of our courses at confirmation and in clearing. In making confirmation decisions, we have paid particular attention to the very useful information we received from UCAS about applicants who have accessed free school meals, or who have attended schools performing below the national average at A level. For these applicants we have, in many cases, lowered entry levels by one further grade. In addition, if students get their grades and wish to either appeal or revert to their mock A level grade, we will hold their place for them.

We have put in place significant extra support for students in our first semester, recognising students will have been out of education for nearly six months when they join us, with many not receiving the support they needed during this challenging time. We will be offering a blended education next year, which will combine the very best of online and in-person teaching methods, with wrap around academic advising and mentoring.    

We continue to remain concerned about the inequalities within society and are particularly concerned about the inequalities relating to the lost education for Year 12s and Years 10s. We need to work together across the UK during this challenging time to ensure that our younger generation have the equal opportunities that they all deserve and to not increase the inequalities that already exist within our society.

Learn more about Clearing at Queen Mary.

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