University denied to six-A pupil

By Hannah Richardson
BBC News education reporter

image captionBen was Brighton College's top student

A pupil who gained three A* and three A grades at A-level has been left without an offer from a single UK university.

Ben Scheffer, 18, had his dreams of studying economics dashed by Oxford, London School of Economics, University College London, Bristol and Warwick.

The bright pupil, from independent Brighton College, was awarded A* in maths, economics and physics, and A in further maths, chemistry and German.

He was happy with his grades but said university would have made him happier.

Asked why he thought he had failed to receive any offers, Ben said there were not enough places available and suggested a change to the admissions system.

The pupil, who is originally from Germany, did not take GCSEs at 16. He wondered whether this had been a problem

But his school said he had done very well in the German equivalent of the exams, had passed the college's competitive entrance exams and had been predicted to do well at A-levels.

Every year thousands of foreign students are awarded university places on the basis of the exams they take in their home countries.

Best pupil

Ben said: "They should put more value on the AS-levels."

These are the first part of the two-year A-level course for which students get marks.

"It would also be better if we got the results earlier and applied after you'd got your results," he added.

He also said: "I didn't write the best personal statement, to be fair, it just wasn't special. And it's a really hard course to get into."

The head of admissions at Brighton College, Stjohn Rowlands, said Ben was the school's best pupil and that he could not understand why he had not received any offers at all.

"You would have thought that he would have got in to one of them with an offer of three A*s.

"It has been really difficult because he's actually our top candidate and not many people get six As at A-level, including three A*s.

"It's been hard on him when the other pupils have been getting their offers but they haven't done so well."

"Ben came here to get a good education and he did and he wanted to go to a good British university."

Ben said he would probably take a year out instead and work as a ski instructor in Switzerland.

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