Earlier on this year, news started to surface about a new approach to higher Education being T Levels. At first, many believed this new initiative was just talk with no action, however, the UK Government has confirmed that these new qualifications will commence as of September 2020. In an age where more and more students feel the pressure to succeed academically despite the increasing hurdles, T Levels may aid those get into university who would otherwise.

Aren't T Levels basically A Levels?

The simplest answer is no.

Just like A Levels, T Levels are studied over two years and are taken after your GCSEs.

Additionally, T Levels will be equivalent to 3 A Levels which means that anyone who takes them will be just as eligible to apply to university a those who take A Levels. The main difference between this new initiative and A Levels is that they 'will offer ...mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience... of at least 315 hours' (.Gov.uk) whereas, with A Levels, there is no work experience.

On top of this, the subject list for the new qualification includes;

  • accountancy
  • animal care and management
  • building services engineering
  • cultural heritage and visitor attraction
  • digital production, design and development
  • digital support and services
  • education
  • health
  • human resources
  • legal
  • maintenance, installation and repair
  • onsite construction
  • science

It appears T Levels are more suited to those who want to go into vocational skills, unlike A-Levels which suits those who want to study both academic and vocational subjects.

Are T Levels the answer to Britain's education crisis?

It is unknown whether T Levels will actually be of any benefit to the population as this is all new.

However, what is known is that over 200 BTECs and Level 3 qualifications may have their funding removed as of August 2020 (TES) most likely as a result of the new qaulification requiring funding.

T Levels seem to be the government's way of dealing with concerns around education, however, through the drastic reduction in BTEC and Level 3 qualifications, it seems that they are only forcing those who struggle with exams (thus take vocational courses) to have to take exams.

To add onto all the fear surrounding T Levels, universities will have to adjust to these new qualifications and it may take many years for them to get accustomed. As a result, allocating university places based on predicted T Level grades will be a challenge as there will be no formal yardstick to indicate what is acceptable to enter certain universities.

The key positive of T Levels

Although the success of T Levels is unknown, they are likely to aid those in more deprived areas of the country access university places. Due to the qualification being equivalent to 3 A Levels, anyone who takes them should not be at a disadvantage. Instead, they should be at an advantage as the course involves less written examinations (which many find to be the downfall of their attainment at school) and gives them actual life experience, which would certainly give the participants a more colourful CV (and personal statement) than someone who just took A Levels.

In areas that previously struggled to get students into top universities and top courses due to attainment, T Levels may be the 'holy grail'.