Press release

MillionPlus comment on A level grading

18 Aug 2020

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (18 August) commented on the announced changes to the way A levels and other qualifications will be graded. 

Dr Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said: 

“It is right that the government has acted so that A Level and BTec students should receive the grades that best reflect their efforts in these strained times. The interest of applicants and prospective students must be at the forefront of all that we do. A taskforce should be established urgently to ensure that the unintended consequences of the change are fully examined and responded to. The government must act swiftly with financial investment for universities and the NHS to ensure that capacity issues for student places on health programmes, including placement and simulation equipment, can be met in short order. The government’s overarching aim of ‘stabilising the HE sector’, by ensuring that there are no shocks to the system which may threaten the sustainability of universities, must remain in place. 

“While much of the attention is paid to A level students, we must ensure that other learners and applicants are not forgotten. These include BTec and other applied generals students whose grades may now be delayed for a significant period to rightly ensure they will be on a par with A level candidates. The second group is mature learners who may wish to attend university; this critical group usually applies later in the UCAS cycle. Both the government and universities should ensure that these applicants don’t get squeezed out in these unprecedented circumstances.” 


Notes to editors 

  1. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 3927 2916 or email 
  2. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities in the UK, and the voice of 21st century higher education. We champion, promote and raise awareness of the essential role and impact of modern universities in the UK’s world-leading higher education sector. More information can be found at 
  3. What are modern universities? Modern universities are long established centres of higher education in their communities with roots that stretch back decades, if not centuries. Many gained university title following legislation agreed by parliament in 1992. They make up almost half of the UK university sector with over a million students studying at modern universities every year.   
  4. Modern universities: facts and stats