Nicola Woolcock and Rosemary Bennett quote Sir Peter Lampl on universities offering financial incentives in an article for the Times.

Universities were accused of luring students on to unsuitable courses after it emerged that some were offering cash incentives of up to £4,500 to recruit wavering school-leavers.

About 300,000 teenagers received their A-level results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland yesterday.

The proportion who got the top grades of A* and A fell by almost one percentage point to 25.5 per cent, the lowest level since 2007.

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Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust, an education charity, said: “Large cash rewards can lead to students getting locked into a university place that may not be right for them. We know that disadvantaged students are more worried about the cost of university than their peers.

“We want to move to a post-qualification applications system where students apply only after they have received their A-level results. This would get rid of the scramble for places through clearing.”

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