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Durham University students offered money to defer after exams U-turn

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image copyrightDurham University
image captionDurham University vowed to provide more information about its offer in the coming days

A university is offering financial incentives to students in a bid to persuade them to defer their studies following the U-turn over A-level results.

Durham University has promised a bursary and guarantee of accommodation for everyone who defers until 2021.

It said it had "capacity issues" due to the "unprecedented situation".

Exam grades for students across the UK have been revised following a backlash over grading systems.

Durham University said "it is possible some offer holders" will have to enrol in 2021 rather than next month as it struggles to provide enough places.

In an attempt to "minimise" the number of people affected, it said it would "seek volunteers" and offer the incentives "to help with their transition to university life" next year.

It has not confirmed how much the bursaries would be worth.

'Failing students'

With students not able to sit exams due to the coronavirus pandemic, ministers in England, Northern Ireland and Wales decided on Monday to revert to teacher-assessed grades rather than those decided by an algorithm.

Scotland had reverted to teacher-assessed grades on 4 August after a similar outcry.

That led to a rush for university places as students tried to reclaim spots after being rejected just days before.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has accused the government of failing students and universities.

It said A-level results "should never have been released before being subject to scrutiny beyond Ofqual" and that ministers "should not have had to rely on shocked 18-year-olds on results day to realise there was a problem".

The government is planning to remove caps on student numbers and said it will work closely with universities on the challenges they are facing.

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