Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information

England

This section details:

- Examinations information for students in England

- Applications information for students applying to university in England, including UCAS and clearing

- Applying for student finance in England.

If you’re looking for information for students in one of the other UK nations or applying to another UK nation for university, please go here for more information.

Exams and next steps

The Government has announced that all students who achieved the required grades this year will be offered a place at their first choice university or college.

The Government has also removed domestic caps on numbers for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, meaning that if students have met their offer to study, they should be able to take up their place this year where there is capacity, or be offered deferred place at their chosen university or higher education provider.

For further information see here

A Level results day was on 13th August. You will have received your results from your school or college.

Ofqual has now announced that it is to award grades on the basis of what teachers submitted, and not the grades issued by Ofqual on 13th August. The switch to school or college assessment grades will apply to both AS and A levels and to the GCSE results which students received on 20th August.

If your results are not what you expected, speak to your school or college.

There will be an Autumn Exam series, for students who who want to try to improve their grade.

If you want to sit exams in the Autumn. Schools can arrange this with the financial support package announced by the Department for Education. It is worth remembering that this may mean a student is not able to start university this year. You should talk to your university provider if you are a student looking to sit exams and seek their advice. You can find out more about appeals and the Autumn exam series here.

A Levels and GCSEs

Estimated grades have been submitted by schools to their examination’s boards for A Levels and GCSEs. The final grades will now be those submitted by the school or college based on teacher views on what learners could have achieved had they sat their exams and other evidence.

Results day in England was on the 13th of August for AS and A levels and will be the 20th of August for GCSEs.

Vocational, technical and other general qualifications

Ofqual have stated that for vocational, technical and other general qualifications this year, grades will be based on the evidence of assignments, modules or class work carried out during the course, before the lockdown prevented students attending classes. This grading also applies to qualifications in Wales.

Grades for vocational, technical and other qualifications should have already been submitted to their examination body and will now be being assessed.

Please see this government guidance for full details regarding how vocational, technical and other general qualifications. will be awarded this year.

After Results

UCAS Track opens at 8am on Thursday 13th August.

If you received the results you needed, well done!

If, however, you did not get the grades you needed, or if you have changed your mind, there are options available to you.

Clearing

You will be able to see if you are in clearing on your Track account. You will need to talk to your school or college adviser who can help with clearing options.

You can find out about Clearing and Clearing Plus here.

It may also be worth considering other options, such as Foundation Level Degrees, Higher National Diplomas or Higher National Certificates.

Examinations in the Autumn

There will be an Autumn Exam series, for student who were either unable to secure a calculated grade in the summer, or who want to try to improve their grade. It is worth remembering that this may mean you are not able to start university this year

You can find out more about appeals and the Autumn exam series here

Apprenticeships

You may want to consider an Apprenticeships; you can do an apprenticeship up to degree level. For more information look here, but, remember, as with any job, you will need to apply and go through an interview process. Make sure you research this option thoroughly.

Work and gap year options

You may want to find employment this year, and apply again next year. This can enhance your personal statement and your transferable skills. However, in the current climate, it is worth remembering that there are fewer jobs and more applicants than there were previously.

You may want to take a gap year. Again, you need to research this thoroughly, as there may well be travel limitations.

Please check the details of any courses you are considering or applying for on the university or college website. Courses due to start in autumn 2020 may be changed to involve some online delivery. Start dates and course content or structures may also change.

Universities and colleges are required to ensure that the following information is made available before Confirmation and Clearing in August:

  • how much of a course is proposed to be delivered online or face-to-face, or a mix of both, if the balance between, lectures, seminars and self-learning has changed or if placements are affected.
  • what support there will be in place for students to access any online learning
  • any changes that may occur due public health guidance, such as changes to social distancing, and implications for provision, such as being unable to attend lectures at certain times or having to change living arrangements in student accommodation
  • the terms and conditions for your course which should be clear
  • how to access a clear and fair complaints process for the university or college
  • cost of the course, including making clear if any discounts have been offered for the year in which adjustments will be made, and if the cost will increase to a ‘normal’ level thereafter

If you feel that you have not received the information you need from your university or college, you can:

  • Complain to your university or college.
  • Check the guidance provided by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
  • You can also see if you can make a complaint through the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)
  • Notify the Office for Students, although note that this will only be used on an individual basis for monitoring and not to follow up any individual complaints

The Office for Students has published consumer rights guidance to ensure students applying to an English provider have all of the information they need. This can be read here.

Unconditional offers and choosing a university or college course

The pause on unconditional offer-making has now been lifted but universities and colleges are expected to act in the best interests of students in making offers. This includes refraining from large-scale use of unconditional offers and other practices which might lead to a student to make a decision against their own interests. There will be plenty of places available for applicants to choose from when making their applications and decisions. It is important that students consider all their options and offers and do not make impulsive decisions. You can find useful information on the Discover Uni website.

Applicants who receive an unconditional offer are always advised to consider whether this is the right university or college and course for them before they make any decision. It is important for applicants to explore and consider all their options. There will be plenty of courses to choose from, reflect on your choices this year. You can find more information on UCAS website.

Changes to Admissions in 2020

UCAS will email you regarding your application if there are any significant changes to it.

New enhanced clearing process for admissions: There will be an enhanced clearing process for admissions for 2020, called Clearing Plus, which will match students to universities and opportunities based on their achievements and course interests. If you exceed your predicted grades, Clearing Plus can suggest alternative courses with higher entry requirements. This is to help you to have more options. You will also have the opportunity to change your choice of provider/course, even if you are ‘placed’ at a provider and after you receive your grades.

Clearing 2020: Clearing for 2020 will open on the 6th of July.

All applications must be submitted to UCAS by 18:00 (UK time) on Monday the 21st of September. This is the final deadline for all courses with 2020 entry.

You must have added any Clearing choices in addition to any other uni and college applications in Track on UCAS by the 20th of October.

For up to date information on UCAS deadlines, see the UCAS website.

If you’re applying for Student Finance in England, you should apply for student finance as soon as possible. Although the deadline for applying has passed, the sooner you apply, the sooner you will receive your student finance. You should apply based on your first preference of university or college. There is no penalty if you withdraw or change your application later, for example, through Clearing.

Students with a disability or long-term health conditions should be encouraged to apply for Disabled Students Allowance as soon as possible. It currently takes approximately 14 weeks for applications to be processed so they need to apply now to ensure support is in place in time for the start of their course.

The quickest and easiest way to apply is via Student Finance England.

Student fees: the universities minister has said that no formal decision has been taken regarding student fees, but if courses are taught online and of high quality, and are courses which are fit for purpose, students would not get a discount on fees.

Information and guidance is available online on the gov.uk website.

Information is updated regularly at The Student Loans Company website.

You can also find information on the Student Finance England Facebook and Twitter pages.

If a student's household income has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, for example, due to their parent(s) being furloughed, they should still apply for student finance. The CYI process is available and could lead to them being awarded more student finance. More can be found out on the Student Finance Website.

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