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BTECs beware

Students with vocational qualifications need better support to succeed at university.

Students who enter higher education holding BTECs are less likely to receive a first or upper-second class degree than their peers with A-levels, even after controlling for other variables, according to research published today.

University entrants with BTECs typically come from neighbourhoods where few people enter higher education, it states. On average they are older, more likely to be male and have lower entry scores compared to the rest of the student population. Yet even when these factors are taken into account, students with BTECs still perform worse than their peers with A-levels, particularly at research-intensive universities where there are fewer students with vocational qualifications.

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