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BTEC students celebrate success as 100,000 BTEC students head to university

-BTEC students collect exam results today for the first time.

-As with previous years we anticipate that around 100,000 BTEC students will confirm places at university this autumn – approximately one in four students starting at university will have a BTEC.

-Most popular subjects are Business, Health and Social Care, Applied Science, IT and Sport.


Today, to coincide with A level results day, Pearson is issuing, below, some initial information about Level 3 BTEC Results for 2017. Full results will be issued in the autumn, as always, once all BTEC qualifications for this year have been completed.

BTECs are the UK’s most popular vocational qualification, and over 250,000 Level 3 students (A level equivalent) have completed their qualifications so far this year.

What’s new in 2017?

In 2017, for the first time, a small number of students will be picking up their BTEC exam results at the same time as A Level students.

In previous years a BTEC was awarded through continuous teacher-assessed coursework and assignments but from this year many BTECs include a new element of external assessment, and a raising of the bar just as we are seeing in other qualifications.

As with GCSEs and A Levels, the transition to these new BTECs is gradual and will bed down in the coming years. Approximately 8000 BTEC students will today receive results for these new qualifications - with external tests included - and this number will rise significantly in future years.

In the main, for those that are certificating this year on the new BTECs our early analysis suggests that similar students pass as in previous years and a modest decrease in top grades awarded for most sectors. A more detailed analysis will be issued alongside our full BTEC results in the autumn.

Many students getting BTEC results today will be starting employment in the autumn. The new BTECs have been designed with employers (as well as universities) to embed the key skills that employers value, including practical work experience, teamworking and presentation skills. Previous research1indicates that BTEC qualifications are associated with higher employment rates and higher wage returns. 

The provisional data indicates the five most popular BTECs studied this year are:

  • Business (35,000 students)
  • Health and Social Care (30,600)
  • Sport (30,500)
  • Information Technology (28,600)
  • Applied science (22,900)

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson (which owns BTEC) in the UK, commented:

“Today is a day we rightly celebrate the success of our A Level students, and I wish them every success as they prepare for Higher Education.

“But today we are also celebrating the fact that a quarter of students who will go to university in the autumn will have studied a BTEC qualification - either a BTEC alone or through a combination of BTEC and A Levels, which is now the fastest growing route into university.

“We know that BTEC‘s blend of academic and technical study is a winning combination, and gives students the skills we know that employers want2 .

“The progression of BTEC students to university makes a contribution towards social mobility, as BTEC students also tend to be more representative of the wider population than A Level students, who are more likely to be drawn from more advantaged socio-economic groups.”



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