The University of Surrey will reduce its entry requirements by one grade for most undergraduate courses starting next year in recognition of the disruption to education caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Grade requirements will be lowered to help “relieve the pressure and anxiety” faced by young people who will have seen their learning affected by the pandemic across two academic years.
Entry grades will be reduced by one grade for the majority of undergraduate programmes starting in September 2021, except for regulated courses such as Veterinary Medicine, foundation year courses, four-year integrated masters programmes and audition-based performance courses.
Lizzie Burrows, director of recruitment and admissions at the University of Surrey, said: “We are taking this action now to relieve the pressure and anxiety facing this year’s applicants, as they experience ongoing disruption and uncertainty surrounding exams and assessment of their learning.
“By taking this step, we can provide one additional element of certainty and reassurance that these students will be protected from unfair disadvantage as a result of the impact of the pandemic.”
Earlier this month, the University of Birmingham also revealed it planned to reduce entry requirements for 2021 by one grade in recognition of the impact of Covid-19 on A-level students.
Education minister Nick Gibb said in the House of Commons last week that the Government was working to ensure that 2021 exams are “fair” and more details will be published “shortly”.
Experts have said that GCSE and A-level exams should be replaced with teacher assessments next year amid coronavirus disruption.
The Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Independent Sage), chaired by former Government chief scientific adviser Sir David King, is calling for all primary school tests to be cancelled and for secondary school exams to be replaced with assessments by teachers with suitable moderation.