Aspiring U.K. medical students in limbo because of exam fiasco

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Thousands of graduating high school students are scrambling for spots at British universities following the government's disastrous decision to award final grades using an algorithm instead of exams.

A-Level student and would be medical student Kaya Ilska, who is disappointed with her teacher predicted exam results, at home in London, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. LONDON -- Chris Byrne and Khadijah E. Olonade worked hard to get into medical school, but the computer said no.

"I'm stuck waiting," Byrne said. "There has been no word about if there's going to be enough medicine places for me to get in this year. There's just a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen." Amid anger from students, parents and educators, and growing unease within Britain's governing Conservative Party, the government backed down this week and said students who were downgraded could get their predicted grades.

"How do we make decisions fairly on behalf of everybody?" said professor Jenny Higham, principal of St. George's University of London medical school. "Because every individual feels that their case is legitimate -- and I would, if I were an individual student." "The process is very stressful and it feels like all my hard work amounted to nothing," said Olonade, who attends a public school in London's diverse Hackney borough. "My grades shouldn't have been determined by the area I live in, but the hard work and effort I've put into my studies."


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