An update for students of the Access to HE Diploma 2020-21

On Monday 4 January, the Prime Minister announced that all schools and colleges will be closed from Tuesday 5 January 2021, as England moves into a third national lockdown. It is the utmost priority of both CAVA and the QAA to ensure that we continue to support all Access to HE Diploma students.

The QAA have advised course providers to continue to apply the current arrangements for the Access to HE Diploma in 2020-21, as published in September 2020. These arrangements were designed to enable course providers to be flexible in teaching and assessing the Access to HE Diploma, so that adaptations can be made as necessary under this and any future lockdowns. You can read their most recent announcement for students here.

We recognise that for many students, the additional pressures of work, caring responsibilities or illness may make study even more challenging. If you are finding it difficult to study at the moment, we recommend speaking directly with your college or course tutor in the first instance. Your college will have procedures in place to support all students under these extenuating circumstances. If you feel your academic performance is affected by the current lockdown you should let your college or course tutor know about the circumstances which are affecting your performance so that this can be taken into consideration.

For those concerned about assessments and grading, we want to reassure you all that you will receive grades for all graded units you complete and grades will not be based on estimates. Your final grades will be confirmed after the Final Awards Board at the end of the academic year.

CAVA will continue to support colleges to ensure consistency is applied across all Access to HE Diplomas awarded. We hope this update brings you some clarity and reassurance with regards to the future of your Access to HE course.

For further information and guidance...

The QAA will continue to provide updates on the Access to HE website.

You can also read the QAA FAQs via this link.

The QAA will be offering a series of webinars from 7 January 2021 which will explain the arrangements for the award of QAA-recognised Access to HE Diplomas in 2020-21 and provide an opportunity for students to feedback on the arrangements. These sessions can be booked on the QAA website.