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 Post subject: Re: A levels 2021
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2020 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:45 am
Posts: 257
Location: Kingston upon Thames
ToadMum wrote:
fairyelephant wrote:
My year 12 DS is having online Lessons but it varies a lot (posted videos with a work sheet) or taught on zoom education Etc) but it really depends on The teacher as to how successful it is. I think it’s quite tiring somehow and there seems to be more homework than usual - maybe more reinforcement needed. I do think he has been motivated by seeing his y 13 sister suddenly not taking exams and relying on achievements to date/teacher assessment. He is more of a last minute merchant normally.

Sounds like they might be one of the first years to go back to school. I’m already wondering if their uni applications will be harder because of a potentially large number of current year13s deciding to defer in order to avoid missing freshers’ week and the experience of going for your first term.


Whether or not to ask to defer is entirely the student's decision; whether or not deferral is allowed, is entirely the university's.


At the moment don’t know if it will be some form of virtual first term, or a physical experience (not that easy to do the step change to university virtually), so might bring existing students back in phases. Time will tell what happens.

However as one commentator has put it, if you are going to have a bout of illness when you restart, probably won’t make much difference if it is July or September or November, the restart has to happen sometime. Also pointed out easier to distance people before weather gets cold as you can have some outside gatherings in physically bigger space. Similarly if all schools restart September any Illness impact in one go (at same time) will be higher than a phased restart in June-July.

We have ruled out the deferral option, as might be more competition next year, if higher than normal numbers defer this summer. We also think an 18 month break from when school stopped will be too long. Also unclear when part time job opportunities might reopen and get back to normal.


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 Post subject: Re: A levels 2021
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2020 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:14 am
Posts: 615
One thing that my DS is weighing up re deferral is whether delaying the point of graduating could give the economy more time to recover.
He has been lucky and managed to get a job and is now working flat out.
This is swaying him towards deferring as he has something to keep him busy.
On the flip side we think that it will be easier to get a uni place this summer as my understanding is that a large percentage of overseas students will not take up places.
If that’s the case top UK unis will have lots of spare capacity.
Possibly unis and courses that don’t usually go into clearing will need to this year.


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 Post subject: Re: A levels 2021
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 11:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:54 am
Posts: 1006
salsa wrote:
The school just sets tons of work with absolutely no tuition whatsoever.



Same here. My Year 12 dd is having to teach herself chunks of A Level syllabus with no teaching. Youngest dd is in Year 8 and really struggling with the volume of work and lack of teaching. I don't think she's learning at all at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: A levels 2021
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 1969
Dd has very few real-time virtual lessons (1 or 2 a week) but some video lessons recorded by the teachers, other lessons provided mainly in writing using google classroom etc. She loves the real-time lessons but finds them less productive; she is enjoying the video lessons. It's impossible for us or her to judge how it compares with what she would have been doing at school but it seems OK. She is working 9-5 each day, doing the same hours as year 10 sibling - essay writing is the only thing that she's doing out of those hours. They are finding it helpful to be in the same space so both working in the kitchen unless it's a virtual lesson.

She is definitely working fewer hours outside of school time than before but I think that's because she is working now in what would have been her free periods at school rather than just hanging out with friends. Many of her friends are working more 2pm-10pm sort of hours but she has said she wouldn't like to do that.

Coursework is starting next week.


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 Post subject: Re: A levels 2021
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 6728
Moon unit wrote:
One thing that my DS is weighing up re deferral is whether delaying the point of graduating could give the economy more time to recover.
He has been lucky and managed to get a job and is now working flat out.
This is swaying him towards deferring as he has something to keep him busy.
On the flip side we think that it will be easier to get a uni place this summer as my understanding is that a large percentage of overseas students will not take up places.
If that’s the case top UK unis will have lots of spare capacity.
Possibly unis and courses that don’t usually go into clearing will need to this year.


I believe universities have been told their quotas will be the same - this is to prevent those so called top Unis trying to fill international spaces with local candidates during clearing, which could take them away from other Unis, causing an even bigger financial gap, which could tip some of the institutions into closure.

Rumour has it that heavy teaching courses like medicine, dentistry, vet may go back first, with other courses remaining online and returning if the numbers stay low. There is a very real concern about a covid19/Freshers flu combo that could overwhelm uni town nhs hospitals, so this is one possible way of mitigating it slightly. Remember it is about continuing to flatten the curve to protect the nhs, and therefore protect more lives in the long run.


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 Post subject: Re: A levels 2021
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:14 am
Posts: 615
So does this mean Oxford which usually takes 20% overseas students at undergrad level and hardly over offers at all will have empty places?


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 Post subject: Re: A levels 2021
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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Quite possibly - it depends how far they had got in their application process -they have an earlier deadline so may not be as affected. They certainly will not be tipped into closure over it, however, having huge financial reserves.


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 Post subject: Re: A levels 2021
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 6:09 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm
Posts: 2753
kenyancowgirl wrote:
Moon unit wrote:
One thing that my DS is weighing up re deferral is whether delaying the point of graduating could give the economy more time to recover.
He has been lucky and managed to get a job and is now working flat out.
This is swaying him towards deferring as he has something to keep him busy.
On the flip side we think that it will be easier to get a uni place this summer as my understanding is that a large percentage of overseas students will not take up places.
If that’s the case top UK unis will have lots of spare capacity.
Possibly unis and courses that don’t usually go into clearing will need to this year.


I believe universities have been told their quotas will be the same - this is to prevent those so called top Unis trying to fill international spaces with local candidates during clearing, which could take them away from other Unis, causing an even bigger financial gap, which could tip some of the institutions into closure.

Rumour has it that heavy teaching courses like medicine, dentistry, vet may go back first, with other courses remaining online and returning if the numbers stay low. There is a very real concern about a covid19/Freshers flu combo that could overwhelm uni town nhs hospitals, so this is one possible way of mitigating it slightly. Remember it is about continuing to flatten the curve to protect the nhs, and therefore protect more lives in the long run.


As many Uni's regardless of where they stand in the pecking order expect ridiculously high grades for many courses I think it is a shame that International spaces can't be mopped up by other students. As the original post states some children will choose to defer this year which could create a glut next year. You will also have private candidates who won't necessarily have grades this year forced to wait. Taking extra nationals this year would go someway to alleviating that pressure.


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 Post subject: Re: A levels 2021
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 6:29 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 450
kenyancowgirl wrote:
Quite possibly - it depends how far they had got in their application process -they have an earlier deadline so may not be as affected. They certainly will not be tipped into closure over it, however, having huge financial reserves.


Hi @kenyancowgirl!

You are right to suggest that Oxford overall is not as badly off financially as many other Unis. However, each college is a separate legal entity; they compete against one other more easily than they collaborate with one other; and there is significant disparity in the different colleges' financial endowment size and strength. I am not aware of any central university emergency fund or 'float' of any sort which has been built up over many years.

Even if,say, wealthy St John's wanted to bail out College X with a loan or a donation or both, St John's College's own cash flow will be impaired and they might need to sell assets. What price will those assets fetch in the current market? Even if a Bank is willing to lend to College X, would St John's offer collateral? ... And how would College X pay back its debts, even if interest rates remain low? ... And for other distressed colleges?

My daughter is at Cambridge. All Academics and many Students knew, even before Covid-19, the rich colleges from the poor. My daughter and her friends now know which colleges they have been allocated for their Masters Degrees; they all tried very hard to avoid certain 'poor' colleges when they applied earlier in the academic year as those colleges have almost zero college level bursaries and scholarships for MPhil students. Some colleges are ancient, have stunning old buildings and immaculate grounds ... . Yet they are income-poor, don't have two pennies to rub together and they have been living a hand to mouth existence for some years. Today, those colleges are certainly financially insolvent, even after furloughing so many of their staff.

Many Unis grew and grew very fast - more students meant more tuition fees, simple! More overseas students meant even bigger fee income! ... And now? They have expensive infrastructure, some very expensive Administrators and Executives, some quite well paid Academics but, mainly, low paid academic and support staff, many on short term contracts. So desperate struggle ahead, particularly for these 'disposable' low-income staff.

Sadly, tough times ahead for most higher education providers. Strong, effective Government intervention is key.

Without this, yes UK Universities will be desperate for students, especially domestic students. ... And will less well students afford to go when they have to borrow to survive with no prospect of a graduate afterwards in a devastated economy?


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 Post subject: Re: A levels 2021
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 7:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
Posts: 8009
Location: Surrey
If flights are open by September, 90% or more of the international students would join Oxbridge. Too good to pass such offers. Same goes for any other top 10 Universities.


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