Adam Caller, educational consultant and founder of Tutors International, has suggested a radical approach to dealing with prejudice against privately educated students in the university admissions process. Due to government pressure, the UK’s top universities are expected to admit more students from the state sector, thereby damaging the prospects of students who are high academic achievers resulting from a private education.
“As everyone knows, the demand for each university place has gone up an incredible amount over recent years,” said Adam, “and competition for places at the best universities is fierce. Candidates are expected to not only achieve A* grades across the board, but also demonstrate commitment to extra-curriculum activities. However,” Adam added, “when it comes to the top universities, that isn’t the only factor taken into consideration during the admissions process.”
“Due to Government pressure to admit more students from the state sector, we’ve seen an adverse impact on the chances that some of the brightest students have of getting into their chosen courses if they have been educated privately,” Adam explained. “We have spoken to disillusioned parents and students who find themselves in a situation where they have a fantastic academic background, superlative grades and everything to recommend them, but the fact they’ve achieved this in a private school seems to be counting against them for the first time.”
When asked how he would tackle this problem, Adam said, “I find myself in the absurd situation where I think a child’s chance to get into the best UK universities would be to withdraw from a private school, enroll in the local state school and then have a private tutor to supplement their education and ensure that they still achieve the best grades. It may sound ridiculous, but I believe that if their university application contains excellent grades and extra-curriculum experiences after attending a state sector school, their chances will be far greater than their peers at the best private schools,” Adam concluded.