Entry tariff - what does it mean?


Hello,
I'm from outside the UK and I'm not so familiar with the British educational system. I've noticed that in various rankings there is a factor called 'entry tariff' which is considered. According to the Guardian the average entry tariffs for law are: Oxford - 529; King's - 460; Nottingham - 472; Durham - 495 and the University of East London has an entry tariff of only 166. What does an entry tariff actually mean and how is it related to the quality of a given programme?

Thanks,
lawstudent2010
Hello,
I'm from outside the UK and I'm not so familiar with the British educational system. I've noticed that in various rankings there is a factor called 'entry tariff' which is considered. According to the Guardian the average entry tariffs for law are: Oxford - 529; King's - 460; Nottingham - 472; Durham - 495 and the University of East London has an entry tariff of only 166. What does an entry tariff actually mean and how is it related to the quality of a given programme?

Thanks,
lawstudent2010
quote
mattlav
In the uk all applications to study at universities are handled by a body called UCAS (University and College Admissions Service). As applicants from different schools and countries may have studied for different exams and have different qualifications, Ucas assigns each of them a numerical score, called a tariff, to allow them to be compared.
So if one applicant got a score of X on the American SATs, people can look at the tariff and see that this is worth 480 points, which is equal to 4 As in the British A-level system, a 'Distinction' in the french Baccalaureate exam etc.
When people publish the entry tariff for a particular course, their basically saying what the average grade was people had to get, in order to get onto that course. So if the score is very high,as it is for Oxford, thats means people had to get extremely high grades to get in, with the average person getting the equivalent of 529 points on the tariff. This is not surprising considering Oxford is one of the top universities in the world. If the entry tariff is very low, as it is for East London, that shows the people who went there had only got very low grades, and in the case of a score like 166, must have barely finished high school. Chances are the course is therefore not a very good one.
Basically, comparing average entry tariffs is a shorthand way of telling how tough a course is to get onto, how hard the work is likely to be, and how respected that qualification is likely to be by future employers.
In the uk all applications to study at universities are handled by a body called UCAS (University and College Admissions Service). As applicants from different schools and countries may have studied for different exams and have different qualifications, Ucas assigns each of them a numerical score, called a tariff, to allow them to be compared.
So if one applicant got a score of X on the American SATs, people can look at the tariff and see that this is worth 480 points, which is equal to 4 As in the British A-level system, a 'Distinction' in the french Baccalaureate exam etc.
When people publish the entry tariff for a particular course, their basically saying what the average grade was people had to get, in order to get onto that course. So if the score is very high,as it is for Oxford, thats means people had to get extremely high grades to get in, with the average person getting the equivalent of 529 points on the tariff. This is not surprising considering Oxford is one of the top universities in the world. If the entry tariff is very low, as it is for East London, that shows the people who went there had only got very low grades, and in the case of a score like 166, must have barely finished high school. Chances are the course is therefore not a very good one.
Basically, comparing average entry tariffs is a shorthand way of telling how tough a course is to get onto, how hard the work is likely to be, and how respected that qualification is likely to be by future employers.
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Thanks for the very good reply.
Thanks for the very good reply.
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