This is the sectoral cost of grade inflation - over-recruitment at the top, under-recruitment at the bottom. Both hurt student experience. A grades based offer system cannot function if the grades are not consistent or reliable. Risk is we get a new phase of trouble next year 1/2
If Russell Group unis put up tarriffs sharply after 2 years of over-recruitment (likely) and grade distribution returns to something like pre-pandemic "normal" (plausible), then we will have sharp reduction in places given at RG, but also less capacity at lower tariff unis
Who, like Goldsmiths today, may have begun cutting back courses, staff, places etc. So we will go from feast to famine, and finishing A-level students will find that the options available to them are dramatically different to those available 1-2 years earlier.
Lets' not forget, also, that the students graduating next year will have had their GCSE year and the first year of A-levels upended by COVID. And more disruption could still follow this year. Will be extremely harsh if they then also face a much tougher competetion for uni places

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More from @robfordmancs

25 Sep
Off down to Brighton to do an event with the lovely people at @Labour4PR this evening. Some light reading for the train
TIL that in the 1945 GE it was still legal for people who lived in one constituency and worked in another to register in both and vote twice. I assume it is no longer legal to do this. No idea when they changed it though.
1945 was also the first election where all the results were declared overnight. Between 1922 and 1935 less than half of seats declared overnight and before 1922 the voting itself was spread over two weeks
Read 4 tweets
24 Sep
Was reminded today that its been a while since I did one of these. Eve of Labour conference seems a good point to take another look. Starmer was announced as leader on 4th April 2020, so we are now (again) 17 months in...
More don't seem to have done a leader approval for Sept 2021 yet (maybe they're holding it back for conference next week) but August's figure for Starmer was -26, while September's (related but somewhat different) satisfaction rating was -25. I'll use the -26
Here's Starmer ranked relative to earlier oppo ldrs on MORI data:

Corbyn: -38
IDS: -37
Foot -35
Starmer -26
Hague -21
Howard -20
Ed M -18
Kinnock -13
Cameron -4
Smith +4
Blair +22
Read 9 tweets
22 Sep
As Labour members outnumber Labour MPs by a factor of well over 100, I think it is true that *more* people will know a Labour member than know a Labour MP. But that is very different from *most* people knowing a Labour member.
Labour members are still a tiny portion of the overall population (less than 1%) and they are unevenly distributed socially, geographically and demographically (they tend to be older, more middle class, more big city resident, etc):…
In addition they will tend to self-segregate into like minded social groups (birds of a feather flock together) and don't have much incentive to seek out interaction with those beyond those groups (though the ones who actively canvass will of course have such contact)
Read 5 tweets
21 Sep
Good article. Tom's right that the idea of "noble suffering" is probably one reason people don't like quick fixes, but I think another is that people often enjoy feeling superior to others. Make e.g. getting thin or quitting meat easier takes one route to that away.
Status seeking is a pretty universal behaviour, but in its pure form is usually seen as negative. The attraction of difficult but virtuous causes to status seekers is thus obvious - they get the kick of feeling superior but with a useful moral justification.
This is less charitable than Tom's "noble suffering" mechanism but it also has different implications - on Tom's account, if you convince people that it is not the thing itself (burgers, flying) that is bad but its effects, their opposition disappears.
Read 8 tweets
17 Sep
I know I'm late to this but highly recommend "Baron Noir" for anyone into political drama - best I've watched since Borgen - brilliantly drawn characters and gloriously French. Everyone smokes, "militant" is thrown around as a term of praise, wine at lunch, strikes & marches
The main characters draw standing ovations with bombastic speeches about "La France", everyone sleeps with everyone else, gleeful use of petty corruption and organisational hijinks ( the scene with the two competing student activist groups is just marvellous) and...
when the French President proposes point blank refusing to pay EU sanctions for spending too much money, his advisor turns to him and says "who do you think you are, Mrs Thatcher?"
Read 5 tweets
16 Sep
Like my department colleague Martin, it is very frustrating to have this misinformation circulating. I am currently preparing first year lectures, which will be delivered in person, and MA statistics classes, which will be delivered in person.
The Uni is looking to enable such teaching to be delivered simultaneously online (via cameras, synchronous Zoom etc). I'm not sure this is a good idea, but it is very clear & obvious that the bulk of teaching is going to be in person
So it is a bit depressing that alarmist articles about teaching being shifted entirely online, which are wholly incorrect, are still being cited by specialist education journalists who could, with one email or phone call, establish that such stories are incorrect.
Read 4 tweets

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