Top universities have urged the government to allocate additional funding to accommodate more students and raise the cap on the number of medical students amid fears ministers face a £ 140 million bailout for lower-class institutions.
Thousands of students are scrambling to get places at their university of choice after ministers announced the U-turn in A-level scores, meaning they now have better grades.
But top schools are struggling with sheer demand as the 55,000 who have accepted a place at another university or taken a new clearing course are now giving up those decisions to try to make their top choices.
A number of universities like Cambridge have already announced that some students will have to postpone until next year.
The government had previously asked universities to take into account the offers they had made to students, but the vice chancellors were in talks with ministers last night to obtain additional funding to accommodate thousands of additional students.
In the meantime, there are fears that students leaving low-tier institutions to get to their first choice could leave them financially vulnerable. Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggests this could cost £ 140 million.
In a sticky note today, a think tank warned that while leading universities would now be "flooded" with students, many sub-universities risked losing a significant portion of their admissions, which could be "financially crippling".
It is because the government has been asked to enroll more students in medical school, where places are very competitive and much of the cost of training doctors is borne by the taxpayer.
Codsall Community High School students protest outside the constituency office of their local MP, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson
The top official in the Department of Education faces an ax over a series of school disasters
By Claire Ellicot, Political Correspondent for the Daily Mail
The education ministry top official could stand in line for the sack after ministers raised concerns over a number of fiascoes.
Jonathan Slater has been the division's permanent secretary since 2016 and works under four education secretaries.
However, his future is reportedly in doubt – despite the government's refusal that he will leave his post.
Ministers are said to be concerned about the recent failure to reopen schools before summer and the grading of exams.
Should he leave, Mr. Slater would be the fourth permanent secretary to step down within seven months.
Sir Philip Rutnam left the Home Office in January after sensationally accusing Home Secretary Priti Patel of bullying. He also said he would bring the government to a labor court.
Sir Simon McDonald said in June that he would be leaving the Foreign Office in the fall, and Sir Richard Heaton said earlier that summer he would be back at the Justice Department.
Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill was fired earlier this year – and will receive a payout of £ 250,000. He is scheduled to step down in September and his replacement has not yet been announced.
Helen McNamara, who was responsible for decency and ethics in the Cabinet Office prior to her promotion to de facto assistant cabinet secretary, is slated to take up a position as permanent secretary for a large Whitehall division.
Institutions are currently in trouble with the number of places in medical schools being limited due to costs imposed by the government – the amount of doctor training fees exceeds the amount of fees paid by students – and there are restrictions on NHS internships.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News this morning that he had accepted calls to increase student spaces and promised the government was working on the problem.
A number of students planning to study medicine have had their grades lowered by the standardized algorithm.
The government has lifted the cap on other subjects to allow universities to accept more students but keep it for medicine and dentistry.
Pressed Education Secretary Gavin Williamson's U-turn means students now have significantly better grades and can try to get into the school of their choice.
Universities UK has written a letter to Mr. Williamson to get "urgent assurances" that he is talking to the Department of Health about increasing the number of medical school places from the current 7,500, as reported by the BBC.
The letter also states: "The role of universities in training the medical workforce is essential for all regions and nations of the UK, as our members' response to the Covid-19 pandemic clearly shows."
The University and College Union (UCU) and the National Union of Students (NUS) have also signed a joint letter to Mr Williamson warning against lifting the student ceiling – with the aim of preventing institutions from recruiting too much To make up for lost revenue as a result of Covid-19 – would "remove one of the few interventions the government has taken to mitigate the financial impact of the Covid crisis on universities".
The letter said: “While it is not yet clear how exactly domestic students will be distributed across higher education, it is widely expected that institutions will move as far as possible to accommodate their offerings.
"This is likely to lead to increased recruitment from high-pay institutions at the expense of low-pay universities and will shift the financial pain from the Covid crisis to many of the institutions that play an important role in expanding participation and social mobility."
The letter added that the removal of the cap does not "remove the practical barriers preventing many institutions from hiring higher numbers than originally intended to meet their conditional offers – including staffing and physical capacity".
An IFS report released last month said 13 universities were in financial trouble and may need a government bailout.
Universities UK has written a letter to Mr Williamson (pictured) to get "urgent assurances" that he is talking to the Department of Health about increasing the number of medical school places from the current 7,500, as reported by the BBC
Labor Minister for Shadow Universities Emma Hardy told Radio 4's Today program yesterday that the government must support the beleaguered sector.
She said, “This is what I am hearing from the industry right now that they are feeling very vulnerable in this situation.
“You have to remember that this does not happen in isolation. The IFS (Institute for Fiscal Studies) recently said that there are thirteen institutes threatened with bankruptcy and we have asked the government to say that we must prevent any institute from going bankrupt. We have to protect them. & # 39;
As of Tuesday morning, more than 11,000 students have not made a decision on their application and have an undefined status within UCAS's clearing system, while 20,000 students have already deferred, the highest number since 2011, reports The Telegraph.
Ofqual is charged with "undermining public confidence in the statistics" when an investigation into the classification fiasco is opened
Ofqual was accused of "undermining public confidence in the statistics" last night when the first official investigation into the valuation fiasco was opened.
The Statistical Ordinance (OSR) yesterday opened an investigation into the beleaguered review panel's algorithm – the first in a series of degrading investigations.
It came when the Information Commissioner's office indicated that it could also check that the algorithm complies with data protection laws.
In a statement, the ICO told the Mail, “We understand the importance of A-level scores and other qualifications for students across the country. With so much at stake, it is especially important that your personal information is used fairly and transparently. & # 39;
The GDPR law states that everyone "has the right not to be subject to any decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, that has legal effects on him or her or that significantly affects him in a similar manner".
Ed Humpherson of the OSR said in a letter that he would "conduct a review of the statistical models in place" due to be released in September.
He implied that other probes were likely and said it would "try to minimize any overlap between our review and others".
Former Education Secretary David Laws, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Education Policy, said: "We urgently need a fully independent review of events this year so that the mistakes made are clearly understood and the right lessons learned for the future."
Ofqual declined to comment.
Prof. Richard Harvey, the academic director of admissions at the University of East Anglia, told The Guardian it had 185 medical places. And are now oversubscribed by around 50 students.
He said, "I've got 1,500 emails in my inbox from angry people – mostly medical professionals – they're all trying to figure out what the hell they're doing now."
“It is entirely possible for ministers to convert an apology into something useful, but that means opening the checkbook and fixing the problem. Especially since not long ago we all clapped caregivers. Didn't we all want to support the NHS? & # 39;
The chairman of the Royal College of GPs has also urged the government to drastically increase the number of medical places available to students to ensure that doctors "represent the communities they serve".
Dr. Martin Marshall urged University Secretary Michelle Donelan to urgently clarify the ethnicity and socio-economic background of potential medical students affected by the A-level fiasco.
In an open letter, he said reports that poorer communities were more likely to be affected by the system, where this year's algorithm scores were "deeply worrying."
Dr. Marshall also warned, despite the U-turn on Monday, that many will have lost their place in medical courses after universities began to allocate places based on students' original results.
"It is deeply worrying to hear that areas where medical schools are under-treated and underserved are more likely to have students whose results have been downgraded and who may not be able to enroll in medicine secure, "he said.
He added: “At the RCGP, we are committed to ensuring that the medical profession is inclusive and representative. This includes the doctors of the future who represent the communities they serve. & # 39;
Prof. Marshall concluded, "I am sure you will agree that it will be of vital importance to the future of the NHS that we have enough doctors to see our ever-growing and complex patient population."
The RCGP estimates that the UK needs 20% more medical places to cater to its growing population, and would like the student limit to be lifted and additional funding for universities to meet the demand.
All students who meet the criteria for studying medicine should be able to do so.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has been accused of "lack of grip" after a series of mishaps during the coronavirus crisis "laughed at" the government.
He is expected to make "minor" changes to his cabinet after the summer break before being completely "rolled back" after the Brexit transition period expires in January.
Boris Johnson defies calls for a fall reshuffle, amid pressure behind the bank Tory to fire Gavin Williamson over his exam debacle. The prime minister has been accused of "lack of grip" after a series of mishaps during the coronavirus crisis "laughed at" the government.
Mr Johnson is refusing to fire his education secretary, who is desperately trying to keep his job after graduating from high school.
The government has also been criticized for its handling of the pandemic, including its botched NHS test and trace app and excessive lockdown restrictions.
Williamson's humiliating U-turn and efforts to blame Ofqual for the exams fiasco are viewed by a growing number of Tory MPs as a mistake that goes too far.
Universities could take legal action from high school graduates if they have to postpone a place for a year after receiving an offer, lawyers say
Lawyers have warned students could take legal action against universities if they have to postpone a year after receiving an offer.
Thousands of students are trying to find a place at their university of choice after a government U-turn. This means that they can use the grades assessed by their teachers instead of the ones given to them last Thursday by a standardized algorithm.
However, some top universities like Cambridge have already warned that they may not be able to accommodate all of the additional students and some may have to postpone their place until 2021.
Suzanne Rab, an attorney with Serle Court Chambers, told The Times, “I think some will take legal action to force universities to take them over this year. You will ultimately see a judicial review. & # 39;
A judicial review challenges the decisions of public authorities and usually claims that a government minister made a mistake in law.
Since the government's U-turn, 55,000 students have tried to get into their first-choice institution. However, schools are fighting for capacity, even though the government limits the number of places available.
It was also called today that ministers lift the restrictions on places for medicine and dentistry currently being imposed by the government.
Tina Patel, a personal injury attorney for Leigh Day, told the newspaper, “We have been inundated with inquiries from students who, despite yesterday's announcement, have not been getting better.
“While the government has lifted the limit on the number of students universities can accept, the final decision rests with each university.
& # 39; Some students may be offered places this year; Some may need to postpone a year and may need to take a year off. This poses difficulties in the current business climate. & # 39;
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, a Tory said the government was "viewed as unhappy": "We've had too many mishaps for a government that's only a year old."
Another Tory Backbencher said: "I have no doubt Boris is in touch with what is happening, but it really feels like there is a lack of grip."
A third warned of "tremendous pressure building at the bottom of the volcano" and said next May's elections could be "an enormous wake-up call" for the Tories.
"Brexit and a Corbyn-led Labor party that brought us the 2019 election will rot bodies by then," they told the newspaper.
“It's not about what the government does, but whether it is competent. With fiascos like the review scandal, we give our supporters a good reason not to come out and support us. That is potential for a political tsunami. & # 39;
Tories has made private petitions to party whips to make it clear that Mr Williamson should be fired. Huw Merriman, who represents Bexhill and Battle, said: "It is not something that should be passed on to Ofqual – the money stays with the government."
The first meeting of a new task force took place on Tuesday to deal with university issues following the U-turn in government exams.
In a statement, Education Minister Michelle Donelan said: “We are working closely with the higher education sector to understand the challenges faced by universities and to provide as much support as possible.
& # 39; I chaired the first meeting of our new task force and I will have meetings with the sector every day to resolve these issues.
& # 39; We support universities by announcing our intention to remove temporary checks on student numbers and work with them to help them prioritize students and make their first choice either in the coming year or as a last resort in the following Year to maintain.
"We announced a package to support the sector during the pandemic, including an increase in tuition fees and research funding, and a program to assess any restructuring support that university providers may need."
Labor shadow education minister Emma Hardy, however, criticized the decision not to invite staff or student representatives to the meeting.
In a tweet, she said, "How can a task force solve the university crisis without also talking to student and staff representatives?"
In the meantime, the school heads union has called for an urgent independent review of the fiascoes for grading exams.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has written to the Secretary of Education asking for a review to rebuild trust after public trust has been severely shaken.
He said, “It seems clear that the statistical model used to moderate Center-graded grades was flawed and produced many anomalous results.
“But how did that happen, why weren't the problems foreseen, and why weren't the ministers beyond? What can we learn especially for the future? & # 39;
GCSE students have been reported to get their scores on Thursday despite the government's U-turn in grading.
All schools and colleges will get students' GCSE grades from the examination boards ahead of results day, the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) said.
Examination boards said they “worked hard” to provide assessment grades for centers based on teacher estimates, or moderated grades if higher.
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