Since the introduction of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma Qualification (WBQ) in 2003, an increasing number of students are applying to higher education institutions (HEIs) with this qualification. The advanced-level WBQ is regarded as equivalent to one General Certificate of Education A-Level (GCE A-Level). This study assesses the impact of attaining the WBQ in addition to three GCE A-Levels on overall university degree performance in comparison to attaining four GCE A-Levels, in three cohorts of undergraduate students (Year 1 = 318, Year 2 = 280, Year 3 = 236) studying Biosciences from 2005 to 2011 at a UK HEI. Binary logistic regression was used to compare the academic attainment of students who had achieved four GCE A-Levels to those who had achieved three GCE A-Levels in addition to the WBQ. Comparisons were also made between students who had achieved three GCE A-Levels and those who had achieved three GCE A-Levels in addition to the WBQ. The results suggest that students who achieved the WBQ qualification in its current form, in addition to three GCE A-Levels, performed less well academically in undergraduate studies than those who achieved four GCE A-Levels. Furthermore, this effect was still present when the balance between coursework and examination was considered, and when students who had achieved the WBQ in addition to three GCE A-Levels were compared to students who had achieved three GCE A-Levels.
- binary logistic regression
- entry-level qualification
- GCE A-Level
- higher education (HE)
- universities and colleges admissions service (UCAS)
- Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification (WBQ)
- widening participation