A-level students are being sold short by a profit-seeking education ‘industry’ - says UKIP’s National Education spokesman, after it was announced that this year's A-level pass rates are at over 98%.
The figures come out at the same time universities say there will be an extra 30,000 university places available this year, estimating that some half-a-million young people will take up places on degree courses in Autumn.
UKIP’s deputy leader and spokesman for education, Paul Nuttall said: “Whilst I congratulate all the young people that worked hard over the last two years, they are being let down by those with a financial interest and profit motive in the new Education Industry.
“Three exam boards compete to sell their curriculums to schools, so do it on the basis they are easy to pass, and will make the school look good.
“This ‘everyone’s a winner’ scenario is not helpful as it makes it impossible for universities to differentiate between students when filling their courses.”
Although there has been a slight downturn in the results, this may be because students are now limited in the number of retakes available.
Universities are likely to have a record number of spare places this year, and have relaxed some of the grade requirements for the first time in recent years, as they struggle to fill their courses.
Mr Nuttall added: “Universities are more concerned about making money than ever before, and I am seriously concerned that by relaxing their entry requirements many students that would never have normally been offered a place will find it too difficult and there’ll be a lot dropping out over the next 12 months.”
“For example, I know of one student who achieved two C grades and a D, but had still gained a university place for which the original offer had been three grade Bs.
Mr Nuttall finished: “The priority of education should be to prepare our young people for a successful and functional career, it is supposed to set them up for life.
“Nowadays it seems to be an industry happy to make a lot of money out of them, even if they will end up with a useless degree and thrown on the scrap heap with debts upwards of £60k.