Education

Foreign Exchange

September 27, 2000 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

American educators may look at students with mobile phones glued to their ears as a nuisance.

But British educators apparently take a different view. In fact, they are lobbying to give high school seniors such phones linked to the Internet—for free.

The University and Colleges Admissions Service, which coordinates the admissions process for all 336 colleges and universities in the United Kingdom, is negotiating with telephone companies to provide mobile phones for “6th formers"—the British equivalent of 12th graders—so they can track their postsecondary applications online.

The idea is not as farfetched as it seems, says Ted Wragg, an education professor at the University of Exeter.

Using the admissions service’s central application system, an estimated 300,000 British students annually apply to colleges and universities between October and December of the last year of secondary school. But the acceptance offers they get are contingent on the results of exams taken in June.

The trouble is that those exam grades are not posted until August. If students make their grade targets, they know they can attend their first-choice schools in September or October. If not, they go into a system called “clearing,’' in which they have to scramble for a place in the institutions with vacancies.

“All this happens in just one or two weeks,” Mr. Wragg said.

With the mobile phones, students can punch in a personal-identification number to track applications online any time of day and avoid jammed phone lines.

“It’s less expensive for us and less expensive for students,” said Ross Hayman, a spokesman for the admissions service. The benefit to phone suppliers is a chance to secure customer loyalty early on.

But one pool of applicants would be left out: The phones wouldn’t go to the 50,000 students from the United States and other foreign nations who apply to schools in Britain each year.

—Debra Viadero

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)