Oxford dons in A-Level overhaul

first_imgOxford University dons are reported to be working with the OCR exam board as part of an overhaul of A-Level examinations. Education Secretary Michael Gove has put forward reforms aiming to transform a system that critics say has become “discredited.” One of his main proposals is greater involvement of university academics in the A-level system. No information is yet available as to specific dons who might be involved.The Oxford University Press Office told Cherwell, “If an exam board were to approach an individual academic from Oxford University about the design of syllabuses and assessments, it would be up to that individual to decide whether or not they got involved. We do not know which academics at Oxford might be considered, or indeed whether any have been approached as yet, by the exam board.” The spokesperson added that it was too early to say what effect this program might have on A-Level results or on university admissions. Alan Bowman, Senior Tutor at Brasenose, said that he was not aware of the details of the proposals but that if asked he would decline to be involved.Simon Lebus, the chief executive of Cambridge Assessment, which owns OCR, said, “If university academics set the content of A-levels, the state could greatly reduce its role in setting exam standards. This would return A-levels to their original role as the key filter for university entrance, guaranteeing that school-leavers arrive at university with the academic knowledge they will need to succeed in university courses.”One Classics and English student said she thought the proposals could be beneficial, commenting, “I think there’s quite a big disparity between what universities expect three As to represent, and what they actually do. I think lots of people I know who got three As would struggle at the top universities.”last_img

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