Many prospective applicants always ask me why the entry points on to the BA (Hons) Journalism course are so low in comparison with other universities.
Well the reason is, here at the Grimsby Institute, there is a belief that we (GIFHE) should be all inclusive and give everyone a chance to learn and be educated. Hence, the reason why the UCAS points were set at 120. This has caused grief, for not only myself but my fellow programme leaders.
As programme leaders we want the best people on our courses. This is because we know they are more likely to achieve and be committed to the programme. That’s not to say that people with less ability wouldn’t, but over the years it has been demonstrated that those with lower entry qualifications tend not to be academic. They gain lower grades or, at the worst, fail. They also tend not to commit 100 % and drop out. This is then reflected on the course and the programme leader and team.
And this is the reason why good applicants, those who are savvy, ask why the points on to the course are low. At the end of the day, they do not want to be with students, who might well be less able, and it also reflects on the quality of the programme.
The top universities usually ask for 240 points. After a lengthy discussion, for the first time this academic year the bar has been raised to 180. This has involved support from external examiners, the Broadcast Journalism Training Council and academic consultants. It’s a start and I can only hope that this progresses even further.
In my defence too, I will add that anyone wishing to gain entry on the programme will undergo a thorough interview and assessment. If they do not come up to muster in either of those, they will not get a place. So, despite the low UCAS points, it is still tough to gain entry. We do favour quality over quantity and I want to ensure that the best are on the course and receive the education they deserve. So don’t dismiss us because of our entry points. We are a Skillset Media Academy – which is a badge of excellence within the media sector and the teaching team are all industry professionals.