Government changes to admissions will give students 'choice and power'
English universities are to be able to take unlimited numbers of students who achieve ABB in their A levels in 2013, according to the latest government plans - ministers say it will mean more students can go to their chosen universities.
This year the threshhold for unrestricted places was set at those who achieved AAB, but Science Minister David Willetts said the reforms would put 'choice and power in the hands of students'.
Universities UK agreed the change was 'a good thing' but warned it was vital that the plans were financially viable, otherwise they could end up reducing overall student numbers in the sector.
Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK said they would like to see a period of stability before more change is imposed.
Sally Hunt, for the University and College Union, said it semed 'very premature for the government to extend its AAB policy when we have yet to see the impact of it. This looks like the triumph of ideology over evidence based policy-making.'
Changes will also be made to the rules on the reallocation of places for students who achieve lower grades.
This year, 20,000 places for students with less than AAB were stripped from universities planning to charge more than £7,500 a year. Those charging less than £7,500 and further education colleges were then able to bid to offer for those places.
This will happen again in 2013 but a further 5,000 places will also be available to institutions planning to charge under £8,250 a year.
More details of this story on the planned changes on the BBC website