Scramble for university places expected post A-level results - with lures for high achievers
Something of a scramble is expected to take place after A level results are announced on Thursday.
For the first time universities will be allowed to offer extra places to any students gaining two A grades and a B, and academics say they think that some who do better than predicted may ditch their provisional offers and try for places at more selective universities.
Many universities, including some in the Russell Group, which represents 24 elite institutions, are expected to make places available, so there could be a 'squeezed middle' - middle-ranking universities who will lose applicants as a result, according to Professor Les Ebden, outgoing vice-chancellor of Bedfordshire who is to become head of OFFA, the university access watchdog, next month.
There could then be a domino effect if those establishments pitch for applicants who would have taken places at former polytechnics.
There are even suggestions that institutions might offer 'bribes' in the form of new laptops or free computers in a bid to lure in high-achieving students.
However, despite the drop in applications, there are still far more applicants than places, and they will be looking to clearing - there are 20,000 fewer university places this year.
Full story on the Independent website