Universities vote to drop points-based admission
The current points-based system for students applying for degree courses looks likely to be abolished, after consultation between the admissions service Ucas and schools and universities.
Around 63 percent of the universities, schools, awarding bodies and government, regulatory and funding bodies support plans to change the system, and a final decision will be made in autumn 2012.
Instead, universities would ask students for specific qualifications and grades felt to be appropriate to the course concerned.
The move comes after concerns that applicants now have a much wider range of qualifications than previously, and some are not recognised by the current system, which is based on points scored for A levels and other courses.
Many institutions do already make grade and qualification-based offers, the consultation found.
The Ucas report said: 'It was widely felt that qualification and grade-based entry requirements and offers are clearer and more transparent for learners and offer those higher education providers who actively select applicants for their courses greater control over admissions.'
The current system was designed when A-levels were the main entry standard for university, but now perhaps half of all UK students apply with other qualifications.
Proposals to allow students to apply for degree courses after getting their A-level results were dropped recently, Ucas citing insurmountable difficulties' with differing term times and exam dates throughout the UK.
More on this story on the BBC education website