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Russell-university awards places irrespective of A-levels grades !

 
               Russell-university award

University of Birmingham – a member of the elite Russell Group – will distribute up to a quarter of undergraduate places this year based on teachers’ own predictions of pupils’ performance.
 
It is making 1,000 “unconditional offers” to students expected to score straight As in exams as part of a large-scale pilot programme.
 
The university insisted the move was intended to reward students with the most potential and take the pressure off teenagers in their final year.
 
But the policy underlines the scale of the competition between universities to recruit bright students in a bid to drive up standards and ensure places do not lie empty.
 
Students taking up an unconditional offer on one of 12 courses at Birmingham will be expected to name the university as their “firm choice” on UCAS application forms.

It comes after a drop in the number of undergraduates starting universities nationally last autumn amid a backlash over the near tripling of tuition fees and radical changes to Government policies regulating student numbers.

                  
 
One vice-chancellor warned that Russell Group universities had started the academic year with around 11,500 vacancies.
 
The competition for students has now led some universities to offer scholarships worth up to £10,000-a-year for bright students starting degrees in 2013.
 
Prof David Eastwood, Birmingham's vice-chancellor and Russell Group chairman, insisted the university’s applications were up this year, adding: “I think the issue here is less